Category Archives: Activism

North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham High School students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am EST; one minute for each student shot and killed last month in a Parkland, Florida, H.S. It was part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with student shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence.

Bellmore-Merrick Students Walkout to Protest Gun Violence: Déjà Vu

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
March 14, 2018

Today, over a hundred Wellington C. Mepham High School students walked out of class from 10:00 to 10:17 AM, one month after a teen used a semi-automatic rifle to kill 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas H. S. in Parkland, FLA.  

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 AM; one minute for each student shot and killed last month at a Parkland, Florida, H.S. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 AM; one minute for each student shot and killed last month at a high school in Parkland, Florida. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

2018 NATIONAL STUDENT WALKOUT: 17 MINUTES

Mepham’s walkout was part of a nationwide protest to show solidarity with student shooting victims, and to demand U.S. lawmakers enact regulations and laws to reduce gun violence.

By 9:45 AM, several Nassau County patrol cars were parked on Camp Avenue in front of Mepham. School administration had requested police “just in case.” But neither the officers nor the school security guard, standing a distance from the walkout, needed to interact with protestors.

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Security Guard in red jacket watches as Mepham High School students, protesting gun violence, walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am.  ( © 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Security Guard in red jacket watches as Mepham High School students, protesting gun violence, walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am.  ( © 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Several adults drove or walked to Mepham and stopped to look at the protest held at the west side of the school building. The most visible focal point from the street was four students standing on a bench and holding up big handmade protest signs. 

North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, drove to Mepham to watch students walkout to protest gun violence.

[Photo digitally altered to remove color from car/driver] North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, drove to Mepham H. S. to watch students walkout to protest gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, stopped her car in front of Mepham to watch the protest. When asked why she was there this morning, Photiou said:

“I wanted to see the kids. I wanted to see our future. That’s why I came.
“We have to do this. We have to support them. Absolutely.”

Midway through the walkout, a car with a man and woman in it stopped in front of the school. The driver said they’d come from the student walkout at Calhoun High School – which, like Mepham, is in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District. Smiling, she added there were so many students protesting outside Calhoun it looked like the whole school was participating in the walkout.

Déjà Vu:  VIETNAM WAR 50 YEARS AGO

The Vietnam War started not long after after I was born. By the late 1960’s, protests, notably including student protests, were helping turn public opinion against having American troops in Vietnam, which significantly helped lead to the withdrawal of our last troops by 1973.

I first began to understand the cost of the Vietnam War in 1968 when I was a junior at Calhoun High School. A military draft seemed guaranteed in the near future (in fact, the 1st draft lottery for Vietnam War was held Sept. 1969), and one of my closest friends, Tom, a senior, waited anxiously to find out if he was accepted into a military band, considered a safer assignment than the alternative. My senior year, a small but earnest group of students held a walkout to protest U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. And in Calhoun’s Main Lobby, the plaque commemorating graduates who died serving in Vietnam had even more brass nameplates than expected for a school our size.

When I was an undergraduate student at SUNY New Paltz, Vietnam War protests were an inescapable part of life on campus, starting with the protest songs during Orientation Week concerts, just weeks after and 50 miles away from the Woodstock festival…  including a sit-in at the Administration Building around the time of the Kent State massacre, May 1970…  and continuing until our troops totally left Vietnam, shortly before I graduated.

North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S.  students walk out of class, as part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class, as part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

Properly motivated lawmakers – who replace incumbents, when necessary – can pass regulations and laws that both keep Second Amendment rights intact and also help significantly reduce the amount of gun violence, which is significantly, outrageously worse here than in other countries.

Today’s National Student Walkout to Protest Gun Violence is a hopeful step in the right direction. On March 24th there’s the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, DC, and local communities. After that it’s time for the next steps.  

#ENOUGH  Protect Kids Not Guns  #NeverAgain 

Mepham Students Walkout:  GALLERY

CONTACT ME

Garden City, New York, USA. May 31, 2017. At Democratic Nominating Convention, candidates include LAUREN CURRAN for Nassau County Executive, LAURA GILLEN for Hempstead Town Supervisor, SYLVIA CABANA for Hempstead Town Clerk, and SUE MOLLER for Town of Hempstead Council 6th District.

Town of Hempstead & Nassau County Elections 2017: All Come to Look for America

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
November 22, 2017

The Town of Hempstead and Nassau County 2017 elections permeated the fabric of my life this year, and countless Long Islanders and events were part of the material.

errick, NY, USA. Sept. 9, 2017. L-R, SUE MOLLER, (Dem - Merrick), candidate for Town of Hempstead Council District 6; and ERIN KING SWEENEY, (Rep - Wantagh) Town of Hempstead Councilwoman District 5, pause chatting to pose for photo at Merrick Fall Festival. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. Sept. 9, 2017. L-R, SUE MOLLER, (D – Merrick), candidate for Hempstead Town Council Dist. 6; and ERIN KING SWEENEY, (R – Wantagh) Hempstead Town Councilwoman Dist. 5, pause chatting together for photo at Merrick Fall Festival. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

When I covered the January 15th “Our First Stand Rally” at Westbury supporting the Affordable Care Act, both of my daughters were participants. And when I photographed the January  24th visit to Sen. Schumer’s L.I. office in Melville by the activist group Together We Will Long Island, my older daughter, Sue Moller, was the TWW-LI admin there. These were the first times my daughters happened to be involved with political events I covered.

Merrick, New York, USA. September 9, 2017. L-R, LAURA GILLEN, Democratic candidate for Town of Hempstead Supervisor; SYLVIA CABANA, Democratic candidate for Town of Hempstead Clerk; and SUE MOLLER, of Merrick, Democratic candidate for Hempstead Town Council District 6, attend the Merrick Fall Festival and Street Fair. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. Sept. 9, 2017. L-R, Slate mates LAURA GILLEN, Democratic candidate for Town of Hempstead Supervisor; SYLVIA CABANA, Democratic candidate for Town of Hempstead Clerk; and SUE MOLLER, of Merrick, Democratic candidate for Hempstead Town Council District 6, pose for photo at Merrick Fall Festival and Street Fair. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Protest marches, resistance events were certainly helping raise awareness of protestors’ reactions to the Trump administration’s goals and actions, but advice from Bernie Sanders and some others strongly stuck in my mind: Protesting isn’t enough. “Resistors” need to run for office and to help fellow activists run for office.

Then, after covering two more events – the January 30th Press Conference when Nassau County Democratic Party leaders endorsed LAURA CURRAN for N.C. Executive and JACK SCHNIRMAN for N.C. Comptroller, and the TWW-LI “Politics 101” Event – I heard exciting news: My daughter Sue was running for Hempstead Town Council!

With that candidacy as catalyst, civic engagement and politics ended up being even a bigger part of my 2018 than I could have guessed at the start of the year.

June 21, 2017. Garden City, New York, USA. June 21, 2017, Maria Cucurillo waves to person outside window, at fundraiser for Hempstead Town Council candidate. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Garden City, NY, USA. June 21, 2017.  Maria Cucurillo waves to person outside window, at fundraiser for Hempstead Town Council candidate. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

2017 Town of Hempstead/Nassau County:  GALLERY

CONTACT ME