The Young Democratic Socialists of America mourn with the Parkland, FL community for the seventeen lives lost to senseless and preventable violence.
We stand in solidarity with the student organizers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In the face of this tragedy, they have shown the courage our so-called leaders lack. Rather than allow themselves to become another statistic on the growing list of schools affected by mass shootings in the U.S., these students have stood up and placed the blame for this tragedy where it belongs: lawmakers and the weapons manufacturers and gun lobbyists who pay them to do nothing as the bodycount continues to rise.
Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the Parkland Shooting, made an impassioned speech calling out politicians and Trump for their complicity in this crisis. “The people in the government who are voted into power are lying to us,” Gonzalez said. “And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and are prepared to call BS.” The words of the survivors echo in the hearts of students and young people, igniting calls for collective actions at schools across the country and demands for progressive change.
In the past, politicians have offered little more than do-nothing legislation or their thoughts and prayers. This time, now that students are rising up across the country, we have a real opportunity to make meaningful change. However, gun control measures that help prevent these atrocities are just one step toward addressing the issues of violence that are so pervasive in our society.
True liberation requires mobilization against the further expansion of the militarized police force, which disproportionately targets people of color and queer people. Liberation requires the eradication of the pervasive role that toxic masculinity, white supremacy, and anti-Semitism have in our society, which emboldened the shooter to carry out this horror. Liberation requires fighting against the unending imperial march of the US armed forces, whose massacres of children in the global south are normalized and ignored.
We are proud to endorse the March for Our Lives on March 24, 2018, organized by student activists who know that we need to keep the NRA’s blood money out of politics. We will be working with YDSA chapters and organizing committees to attend local marches or take part in organizing them. We know the power of youth organizing, and we know that if we band together, we will win.