things that matter

Wondering What You Should Bring To ‘March For Our Lives’ This Weekend? We’ve Got You Covered

This Saturday, activists across the globe are turning up for the fight against gun violence and taking part in the worldwide March For Our Lives Event. As you gear up and prepare for the rally, it’s important to know what to expect and have at the ready.

From keeping an I.D. on hand to bringing that weird fanny pack here’s a list of things to do and pack before the protest.

Find a march location and decide how you will get there.

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This is something you won’t want to leave until the last minute. One million people are expected to attend the event taking place in downtown D.C. alone. For anyone taking part in a march that is located in a big city, be prepared to tackle busy and slightly hairy public transportation systems, particularly because so many people will be trying to go to one place. Plan out safe routes that will help you get to and out of the march once its over.

Make it count, remember to sign the petition! (And RSVP)

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Make sure your presence at the rally is known on a platform that’s more valuable. Sign the March For Our Lives petition and make sure to also RSVP for the event. Signatures matter and signing the online petition will help push this movement forward. Don’t forget to continue your efforts after the march by voting and ringing up your local representatives.

What to wear, what to wear.

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Stay up to date on the weather and be prepped for unexpected showers and snow. Now is definitely not the time to let the weather rain us out. If you suspect that there could be even a slight drizzle pack a light poncho or raincoat.

Reliable shoes: Remember, you’re going on a march. Get your feet into a pair of reliable comfy shoes that you can walk in for hours. Don’t forget to wear cozy socks!

Bags: You’ll need a place to AT LEAST keep your I.D., some cash and your cell phone. (If you’re packing rain gear, snacks, and water you’ll also want to have a bag that has space for that.) There’s no better time to wear that fanny pack you’ve been feeling iffy about than now. Or, go for a cross-body bag. Avoid big bulky purses that your mom won’t be around to carry for you, or could get you into trouble with security*.

Things to pack.

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Food and drink: Marches go on for hours. If this is your first time marching make sure you have everything you’ll need to be comfortable and energized. Energy snacks like granola and protein bars are great to bring along, but also be sure to pack water (keeping hydrated is essential.)

Ponchos: Even if you don’t have a poster to bring, your hands will be occupied. Opt for a poncho or coat (bonus points if they have pockets!) instead of an umbrella so you can keep your hands free.

Phone charger: Make sure you have a portable phone charger on hand in case of any emergencies.

Signs: It’s possible that people will be handing out signs for you to carry at the march, but if you really want to make a statement, make your own!

A teeny first-aid-kit: If you wear the right shoes, you probably won’t have to worry too much about blisters. But you can never be too prepared when it comes to Band-Aids.

Medication: If you need any medication, be sure to bring it with you. You will be allowed to bring medicine through checkpoints, but you can avoid any problems by making sure to keep your medication in their prescription packages and bottles.

Bandanas:* We’re hoping to have a peaceful protest this weekend, but just in case things get out of hand, be prepared for worse case scenarios which could include tear gas.

*There probably won’t be tear gas or mace sprayed at the event but canisters will likely be present because of security. In a scenario where tear gas is sprayed, be sure to protect your eyes and lungs. Poor water onto your bandana and hold over your nose and mouth as you leave. Don’t attempt to rinse your eyes out with water, seek medical assistance for this first. Because most of the marches have been approved by the city there will likely be medical personnel at the event you attend. If you suspect tear gas could be sprayed at your event, consider wearing glasses instead of contacts.

Identification: Having your I.D. on hand is important for everyone, but for trans marchers, it is doubly important that you have identification that matches your gender identity should you run into any emergencies.

Stay safe.

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Bring a buddy: When you go to a big event like this you should never go alone. Stay safe and make sure you have at least one friend who can keep an out for you and vice versa. The buddy system is crucial here.

Have a plan: Hopefully, you won’t get separated from a friend, but there’s a slight chance that you will. Have a plan of where and what time to meet your friends if you do get separated and someone’s phone dies (bring that charger!)

Stay away from counter-protestors: Anyone who shows up to the march this weekend to counter-protest is looking for a confrontation. Don’t engage with anyone who yells at you or attempts to get violent.

Send us your pics!

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Don’t forget to share your pics and videos from the march with FIERCE. Send us your photos with the hashtag #FIERCEESMarch and post your images in our comments section on FB!


Read: Survivor Of Florida School Shooting Emma Gonzalez Is Turning Her Anger Into Political Activism

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Remembering Latina Civil Rights Leaders On César Chávez Day

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Remembering Latina Civil Rights Leaders On César Chávez Day

American labor leader and civil rights activist César Chávezhas become a major historical icon for the Latino community. Streets, parks, and schools have been named after him, a film about his life garnered international acclaim and every year on March 31, millions across the country celebrate César Chávez Day.

While Chávez did so much to secure right for our community, it’s important to remember hat Latina activists also had a huge hand in changing the course of our history.

Here’s a look at seven of some of history’s most powerful Latina activists who led marches and fought for your civil rights.

Sylvia Mendez

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When it comes to the desegregation of schools in the country, American history often credits the case of Brown v. Board of Education for the changes. Barbara Rose Johns is also the one who is most typically considered to be the face of that movement after she led a 450-student walkout at a high school in Virginia in 1951. But history has largely written out the work of Sylvia Mendez an American civil rights activists of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent who played a key role in the integration movement back in 1946. Mendez v. Westminster was a case sparked by Mendez’s rejection from an all-white school in California back in 1943 when she was just eight years old. Mendez’s parents sued the school district and the landmark case which was ultimately settled in 1947 successfully desegregated public schools in California making it the first U.S. state to do so.

Dolores Huerta

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As a fierce civil rights activist and labor leader, Dolores Huerta became a tireless advocate of the United Farm Workers union. The American-born Latina of Mexican descent originally started out her career as an elementary school teacher. After seeing kids in her class come to school hungry and in need of new shoes, she decided she would help organize their parents. She started to fight for economic improvements for Latino farm workers and pressed local government organizations to improve barrio conditions. In 1962, she co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (now known as the United Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee) with César Chávez. Her non-violent strikes and protests led to her 22 arrests. In 1997 she was named one of the three most important women of the year in by Ms. magazine.

Carmen Perez

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In 2017, Perez helped lead the country in its largest protest in U.S. history as a co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington. In her 20 year career as an activist, Perez has dedicated her advocacy to some of today’s most important civil rights issues including violence against women, mass incarceration, gender inequality and community policing. Before the Women’s March she helped launch a 9-day 250-mile march from New York City to Washington, DC called March2Justice which implored congressional lawmakers to turn their attention to the nation’s police justice crisis.

Berta Cáceres

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Best known for leading a campaign that opposed a dam on the Gualcarque River, Cáceres was an award-winning Indigenous environmental activist. In 2015, the Honduran environmentalist received the Goldman Environmental Prize for helming the grassroots effort that pushed the world’s largest dam builder to stop the construction of the Agua Zarca Dam at the Río Gualcarque. Because of her efforts the river that was saved and considered to be sacred by the Lenca people, was still able to provide the nearby tribe access to water, food, and medicine. On March 3, 2016, Berta Cáceres was assassinated for her activism when two assailants broke into her home and shot her. Her murder sparked international outrage and brought attention to the fact that Honduras is the most dangerous country in the world for activists who fight to protect forests and rivers.

The Mirabal Sisters

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Patria, Dedé, Minerva, and María Teresa Mirabal were four sisters from the Dominican Republic who ferociously opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo and became known as Las Mariposas. In 1959, after witnessing a = massacre executed by the Trujillo regime the sisters were sparked into activism and rallied communities into public protests that renounced Trujillo’s rule. Three of the sisters, Minerva, María Teresa, and Patria, were murdered for their advocacy when they were beaten to death by associates of the government. Following the death of Las Mariposas, Dominicans across the island decided they had had enough. Six months later, Trujillo’s dictatorship was brought down when he was assassinated.

Sylvia Rivera 

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Well before activists like Harvey Milk and figures like Caitlyn Jenner made waves, there was Sylvia Rivera. The Latina born and raised in New York City had Puerto Rican and Venezuelan roots and a tragic story when she first began to carve out a place for trans people in the American gay liberation movement. Rivera was a self-identified drag queen and transwoman who participated in the Stonewall riots of 1969 and soon after founded Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries (STAR) with Marsha P. Johnson. In 1970 she led trans activists in the country’s first Gay Pride march, then known as Christopher Street Liberation Day March and in the years after she delivered fervent speeches that called for the support of LGBTQ people of color and who were homeless.


Read: Here’s How To Prepare For The ‘March For Our Lives’ Event Happening This Weekend

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Two Survivors Of Mass Shootings That Took Place Just A Few Months Apart From Each Other Sat Down For Breakfast This Weekend

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Two Survivors Of Mass Shootings That Took Place Just A Few Months Apart From Each Other Sat Down For Breakfast This Weekend

Emma Gonzalez and James Shaw Jr. are each other’s heroes. Over the weekend, the two survivors of mass shootings that took place just a few months apart this year sat down for breakfast at a Denny’s in Florida with other students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

On Saturday morning, Gonzalez retweeted a photo of her with Shaw and called their meeting “legendary.”

Only two months after 14 students and three staff members died in the Feb. 14 school shooting at the Parkland, Fla. high school, Shaw found himself wrestling a gun from the hands of a shooter who entered a Nashville area Waffle House and killed three people. Nearly a week after Shaw’s encounter with the shooter, Gonzalez found herself receiving praise from rapper Kanye West, who described the Cuban-American as his “hero” on Twitter. In response to the tweet, she posted a photo of Shaw, referring to him as her hero.

“Meeting the young adults of the Parkland incident so much fire and inspiration in their eyes was a great joy,” Shaw said in a post to his Twitter account after meeting with the students at breakfast on Saturday. “I met one of my heros today.”

Gun violence has turned both Gonzalez and Shaw into fierce activists.

Since the shootings, both survivors have worked to help the families of gun violence victims as well as fight for stricter gun laws.  On March 24, Gonzalez led fellow survivors in a mega-march in Washington, D.C., called March For Our Lives. The activist has since set out to push for the funding of federal gun violence research, a ban on assault weapons and universal background checks. Shaw set up a GoFundMe campaign that raised more than $240,000 for the Waffle House shooting victims’ families.

Read: 6 Reasons Why You — Yes, Hermana, You — Should Run For Office

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