Preview: Denton March for Our Lives

This Saturday, March 24 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Denton will host a March for Our Lives event outside the Courthouse on the Square. Eventgoers will stand in solidarity with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the victims and survivors-turned-activists of the February mass shooting that left 17 students and teachers dead. Parker Hicks is organizing the event, looking to “support the impact” the students have made in the aftermath of this event.

“When I saw there was no event planned in Denton, I took the lead and organized it myself,” Hicks said. “My original goal was to have a small event where concerned parties could speak and we could get people registered to vote, but it just grew from there as more people got interested.”

Hicks has set up a roster of speakers, who will be speaking about changing gun laws for the better and ensuring increased safety for students on campuses all over the country.
“People can expect there to be speeches from students, mothers, teachers, and local politicians who want to bring about positive change,” Hicks said. “The speakers include 9 students, 4 mothers and teachers, 6 candidates for local office, and the leader of the local NAACP chapter, Willie Hudspeth.”

Attendees will also be able to register to vote, and learn about and join Moms Demand Action—a non-partisan, grassroots, national organization formed after the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012 advocating to reduce gun violence. Hicks hopes that this event will be a springboard for attendees to take charge through voting and advocating.

“Go vote, join Moms Demand Action, organize an event yourself, take the energy we create here and use it to cause change in the midterm elections in November,” Hicks said. “The politicians that have ignored the deaths of children and taken the NRA's money need to be removed and replaced with people who will enact change so that no child has to walk in fear at their own school.”
This March for Our Lives is one of 828 planned around the world to take place on the 24th, as of Tuesday, March 20. Denton is one of five cities in the metroplex holding an event, alongside McKinney, Fort Worth, Dallas, and Sherman, TX.

The Denton March for Our Lives Facebook page has tips for attendees to keep in mind for the event, including a warning that there might be persons openly carrying at the event along with a police presence intended to keep safety. In a pinned post on the page, Hicks says that attendees “need to be the image of peaceful, nonviolent protest” and  this event is “impressive, important, and necessary for change.”

Hudspeth is holding a town hall event after the March for Our Lives at the Denton Training Center from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. where students can speak directly to representatives from the police and fire departments and schools about changes they want implemented.

Hicks once again said that voting, especially in the upcoming midterm elections, will be the biggest step in creating real change on a political level.
“No matter what else you do, get registered to vote,” Hicks said. “Vote for people who will serve your needs better and listen to you. This midterm election is perhaps the most important one we have seen in a long time. Everyone needs to vote.”

Image by Finbonacci Blue on Flickr from a student protest in Minnesota in early March.