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The March for Our Lives, Washington, DC - 24 March 2018

Jerry Nelson, McLean, VA
We couldn't go, we had Kennedy Center tickets. 
That's how it all started -- we passed out a map for the March to Save Lives in our neighborhood.  If two more people went, we would come out even.

We found the opera theater on the other side of the Hall of Nations.
Performance over (our 6th Mark Morris dance recital),
march events over too, but still lots of people in the streets.

Still in her baby seat, mom's little girl is a Future Voter on her way to the gun march. 

ATTENDANCE  We're not professional protesters, we just live here!  (Is it true you can get paid for this?)

Obama, 2009:     1.8M on Mall (we were pinned, you couldn't move anywhere)
                              0.3 on the bleachers for the parade
                                    (Mostly new people on the bleachers;
                                     mall people couldn't get there.
                                     I call it an easy 2 million for Obama.)
Trump, 2017:  300,000 is a good mid-range estimate, 
                                    I could easily  walk to the front of the public area.
Woman's March 600,000 -- The very next day!  The Metros were packed,
                                    not like the photo above.
                                    People cite 500,000 from aerial photo surveys, but
                                    metro ridership numbers and our one-the-ground experience
                                    say the people who estimate it was 600,000 have a point. 
March for our Lives:>200,000
                                      We were forbidden (armed force) from spilling over onto Mall.
                                      We were on PaAve like the Climate March 2017,
                                      which was 200,000 -- a reliable, final figure.

Nothing beats the first Obama inauguration for sheer joy.  Even the Trump inauguration was happy . . . for them, because their guy got in.  But it's not the same when you march because people were killed. 

Gun March sign - 19 Years after Columbine

You hope that your new President will do good stuff after inauguration (20Jan17), you hope for change in climate (march of 29Apr17), you hope science will be allowed to drive civilization higher (22April17), you hope you'll see Trump's tax returns (Tax Day March, 15Apr2017), and that attitudes will change now that feminism is "back by popular demand" (Woman's March 21Jan17).   The March for Our Lives (24Mar18) was different.   These people are fed up.

Most structural issues (gerrymandering, voter suppression, social and economic injustice, lack of accountability) didn't come up, but people know they must vote opponents out of office.  This is not a "tell your Congressman that he should do XYZ" kind of crowd.  No one is begging for change that cannot come . . . change that is deeply structured never to come.  These people will do it themselves.  Fellow scientists on the March for Science (22Apr2017) had no idea what political activism next required of them.  These people know what to do next. 

2018GunMarch-Vote Them Out
Do-it-yourself change means gaining power.

The NRA has forced a generation of reformers into electoral politics.
The Climate March did not do it.
The Woman's March did not do it.

The NRA did it all, put a dysfunctional legislative system on display in Washington, on display in state after state capitol. 

The NRA has forced the most impatient, fed up people I've ever marched with into electoral politics.  This is not voter registration in the 1960s when we tried to persuade others to vote. These people are going to do the voting themselves.  Sometimes an organized political constituency becomes the core of a political party and transforms it for a generation.

2018 Gun March - we are your well-regulated militia

200,000+ in the streets is what your well-regulated militia looks like.  If you want to see more, try repeating today the Watergate era's Saturday Night Massacre by firing of Robert Mueller.

2018GunMarch-Big Gun Makes U Look Like a Big Dick 


In the woman's lib movement of the 60s and 70s, women wanted to be treated as equals.  Then, the most gorgeous woman I ever dated in high school, the one who walked through the pages of Mademoiselle magazine to an ivy league college, witty and smart, would have a career the equal of any man, would be the perfect mother to her new baby, and the ideal homemaker to her husband.  Her mother bought into it too.  She burned herself to death in front of her, it was the only escape. 

#MeToo tells us today is different.  Woman want their stories believed and the sexual dominance of men ended.  Men's dominance is maintained by social complicity and structural injustice.  This is a very different women's lib.  This is a political movement, turned outward, spilling out into every arena.  For the gun march, #MeToo meant an attack on patriarchy itself -- or at least on men who think they need guns for their manliness.

Gun march sign: "If teachers have to carry guns, the president should have to read a book."

Near Central Park in New York: "There should be a background check before the NRA is allowed to buy a senator".

Men understand the fight against patriarchy.  This is not Saudi Arabia, the first place Trump visited as president.

2018 Gun March  signs - Big Gun Small Penis 

Jerry: I just saw a sign that said, "Why are there more regulations for my uterus than for assault rifles?"
Robin: Because it's still a male-regulated society. 

This sign appeared in Atlanta's anti-gun rally in the Centennial Park district.  Her anonymous parody has been circulating on the Web since before Oct 2015.  You can  cut and paste the  text from  here.

2018 Gun March - AtlantaGA sign

This anonymous parody on the freedom of men to buy guns vs. the restrictions on women's abortion rights appeared on the Web prior to October 2015.

PATRIARCHY IN A NUTSHELL.  Western civilization celebrates the importance of the individual (Renaissance) and the equality of men (Age of Enlightenment), leading to the emergence of democratic nations (USA, 1776, 1787).  The ability of more citizens to advance themselves helped advance Western civilization to dominance in our time.

Patriarchal societies give men control of women.  Complete control is ownership.  A person owned by another can't advance himself.  Non-Western, patriarchal societies have lagged in scientific output and wealth creation.

There is no wealth to be gained by patriarchal suppression of women's reproductive freedom.  The gain is patriarchal power.

Men partial to patriarchy are partial to the use of force.  The inability to control patriarchal domination of women invites difficulty in controlling guns and state-sanctioned killing (in distant nations by armed forces; in our cities by police).

SO YOU'LL DO IT THROUGH THE BALLOT BOX?  Last Saturday's March for Our Lives, 24 March 2018 -- financed in three weeks by $3.5M in contributions and led by high school kids in response to the murder of their classmates -- this march shows an angry country determined to seize political power . . . through the ballot box, they say. 

THE RUSSIANS HAVE BEEN IN THE NETWORKS SINCE 4/2014.  Ballots will be cast in a system gerrymandered and rigged by minority-party Republicans using voting infrastructure in which the Russians began laying the groundwork for mischief four years ago, with cyberpenetrations starting April 2014.  When the voting day lines are long as they always are, when the voting machines always break down the way they always do, when the most crowed, urban precincts where the most Democrats live are hit the hardest as they always are, when even your own name doesn't come up on the voter registration data lookup, are you sure you know what's going on?  Are you sure you want to attack the other American political party?

Even if Russians can't swing the election results, they can still inject chaos on election day, invalidate the process, and destroy the faith in democracy shown by hundreds of thousands of gun control advocates this Saturday. 

Again after 2016, again In the coming mid-term elections of 2018, Russian and GOP interests are aligned. 

2018 Gun March sign - one child is worth more than all the guns 


Killing the children is not good for a nation's future.  This may be an idea whose time has come.  People seem able to get their heads around it.  Thank you, gun control marchers. 

Whoa, not so fast, not so simple. 

The counter-signs are out there already, referencing abortion rights: 
"Supports Planned Parenthood to Save The Children --another liberal hypocrite."
"Liberals Don't Mind Killing Children as Long as It's Not By an Assault Rifle."

The people carrying such signs have trouble forming a model of the society in which they live.  Politics for them devolves to a parade of personalities ("Lock her up!"  "Good business man."   "Little Rocket Man"  "Good guy in white hat shoots bad guy in black hat.")  

When problems are people, murdering solves any problem permanently.  More guns, safer.  Dead Muslim, safe country. 
A parade of individual personalities, loved but mostly hated, explains daily politics to these people.  When politics gets harder for them to understand, there must just be more people involved -- people hidden somewhere, people conspiring in secret. It's all love, hate, betrayal and they understand the world as well as you do; better, even, since they have discovered a hidden cabal that you don't even know about yet.  You think you're smart, but your kind can't get it, and they can.

1. My anger at them for pushing more guns as the country's solution to gun violence    
2. Anti-Patriarchy Signs at the Gun March     <--- You are here.     
3. Class Structure and Economic Injustice in the United States - Why Are so Many Adults so Angry & Selfish?
         An essay for gun control kids who need to know what's coming,
         and for their Trumped parents who can't figure out what happened.

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