Tag Archives: activists

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.  

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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 replaced 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:  SLIDESHOW | GALLERY

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Politics 101 – TWWLI Workshop

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
April 2, 2017

Last Sunday, when I entered Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Church in Wyandanch and saw the stage had a huge banner above it with the message  “to believe  – to belong  – to be compassionate,” it struck me as a fitting place for the Together We Will Long Island (TWWLI) group to hold their Politics 101 Activists Training workshop.

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And more to the point, this location that Suffolk County Legislator DeWayne Gregory helped secure for the event checked three crucial boxes: it safely accommodated at least 70 people (in fact, it could fit hundreds); it was reasonable for members coming from Nassau and Suffolk Counties; and it was free.

Wyandanch, New York, USA. March 26, 2017. At podium, DuWAYNE GREGORY, Presiding Officer and Suffolk County Legislator (Democrat - District 15), is speaking at Politics 101 event, the first of series of activist training workshops for members of TWW LI, the Long Island affiliate of national Together We Will. Speakers seated right of him are, L-R, LAURA CURRAN, JAY JACOBS, and LAUREN CORCORAN-DOOLIN. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, FromLongIsland.com)

Wyandanch, NY, USA. March 26, 2017. At podium, DuWAYNE GREGORY,  Suffolk County Legislator & Presiding Officer (D – D15), speaks at TWWLI’s Politics 101. Speakers seated right of him are: LAURA CURRAN, JAY JACOBS, & LAUREN CORCORAN-DOOLIN. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann Parry.com)

TWW Background

TWW, which began in late 2016 and is run by volunteers, has four Core Values: to have Strategic Impact, Respect, Solidarity, and to Cultivate Action.

TWWLI, which began in January 2017, has been focusing mainly on making its concerns clear about Trump’s Cabinet appointees, Executive Orders, and ACA repeal & replace to Long Island’s federal elected officials:  Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Lee Zeldin, Rep. Pete King, Rep Tom Suozzi, and Rep. Kathleen Rice.  (Their official online contact info is at end of this post.)

The group’s approaches include organizing protests; sending messages; participating in Town Halls of reps who hold them; and visiting the Long Island offices, if access permitted.

Wyandanch, New York, USA. March 26, 2017. GENNA HANAN, in audience, asks question during Politics 101 event, the first of series of activist training workshops for members of TWW LI, the Long Island affiliate of national Together We Will. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, FromLongIsland.com)

Wyandanch, NY, USA. March 26, 2017. Audience member GENNA HANAN asks speakers a questions during TWWLI’s Politics 101 event. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

All Politics is Local

The March 26th Politics 101 event was the first in a series of Together We Will Long Island workshops to help members be the most informed, effective activists possible.

TWWLI administrator Beth McManus introduced the program, and admin Sue Moller, my daughter, introduced each of the speakers, who spoke in this order:

Wyandanch, New York, USA. March 26, 2017. At center, JAY JACOBS, Chairman of Nassau County Democratic Committee, holds Certificate of Appreciation and American Flag presented by, (L) BETH McMANUS, and (R) SUE MOLLER, two administrators of Together We Will Long Island. Jacobs spoke at Politics 101 event, the first of a series of activist training workshops for members of TWW LI, the L.I. affiliate of TWW. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Wyandanch, NY, USA. March 26, 2017. At center, JAY JACOBS, Chairman of Nassau County Democratic Committee, holds Certificate of Appreciation for speaking at Politics 101, a TWWLI event. (L) BETH McMANUS and (R) SUE MOLLER are two admins of the network. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

After the five presentations, audience members asked questions to the speakers and TWWLI admins. Based partly on the questions, it seemed some audience members had already been involved for months with TWWLI events and facebook discussions, and others were newcomers.

During Q & A, the speakers stressed the importance of focusing not only on national politics, but also having a strong presence in local politics – from school boards and library boards, to town councils, legislators on up.

What’s the Message

When one of the speakers said how important it was to make the network’s message heard, an audience member asked, “What’s our message?” 

Here are excerpts from Jay Jacobs’ answer:

Local message: It’s going to be about cleaning up our government, and putting back into place people who will run government for the purpose of delivering efficient services the best way they can, instead of taking care of the chosen few, their family and their friends….

Nation-wide basis:  [We have] always fought for average citizens, fought for those who couldn’t fight for themselves….  [introducing] social security, unemployment compensation, disability insurance… Medicaid, Medicare… Obamacare.

We have to be about making government more responsive to the needs of people, less responsive to special interests and a lot of money from corporate interests….  It’s going to be about going back to our roots….

Contact Info – L.I.’s National Reps

Contact Info for U.S. Senators and Congress members who serve Long Island, NY, constituents:

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TWWLI site:  twwli.org

TWW site:   twwusa.org

‘Politics 101’ Workshop:  SLIDESHOW    GALLERY

CONTACT ME