Chinese Progressive Association
For Immediate Release:
April 20, 2018
Frances Fu 傅馨儀 (English), 516-521-5917
Lai Wa Wu 胡麗華 (English), 913-221-2804
Chinese Progressive Association Youth MOJO Members Join Nearly 200 Youth in Bay Area School Walkout to Speak Out Against Gun Violence
This Friday, April 20, Chinese Progressive Association Youth MOJO (Youth Movement of Justice and Organizing) members joined nearly 200 other high school youth in the Bay Area in front of San Francisco City Hall as part of a nationwide school walkout to speak out against violence. This action is part of a larger, nationwide effort to protest our leaders’ failure to pass laws that protect us from gun violence, particularly in response to the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Students turned out from from Washington, Lincoln, Lowell, Galileo, June Jordan, and many more high schools.
The April 20th date marks the anniversary of the Columbine High School Shooting nearly 20 years ago.
Since the Columbine shooting, schools nationwide have increasingly militarized their campuses with more security guards and police officers while also increasingly punishing their students with suspensions and expulsions. Most recently, the Trump administration has made a horrific suggestion to arm teachers in schools. These attempts to use more violence to control violence have failed -- since Columbine, there have been 200 school shootings. These punitive school policies have not only failed to prevent school shootings, they have also disproportionately criminalized young students of color.
“The United States is one of the largest arms producers and exporters in the world, and it is absurd that the United States cares more about making money off of the gun industry by empowering gun owners and violent individuals. Some people feel like they need to have guns to protect themselves. But we have to ask ourselves -- Why don’t we feel protected in the first place?” says Nevin Chin, MOJO Core Leader.
The Republican-controlled Congress not only fails to prevent deaths in our communities -- it profits off of these deaths. In 2016, the National Rifle Association spent $14.5 million to support Republican candidates. $11.4 million of those dollars went directly to support Donald Trump.
These elected officials are actively silencing our communities by advocating for restrictions on voting rights, immigrants rights, and reproductive rights. In this moment, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the government’s advocacy for more weapons in our schools is identical to the historic and systemic violence inflicted upon all of our communities, from police brutality in black communities to the Muslim Ban to ICE attacks on immigrant communities of color.
Our participation during this #NationalSchoolWalkout is part of CPA’s larger campaign efforts this year to fight for happy, healthy, and thriving communities, from gathering petition signatures for the College for All campaign and the Local Schools and Communities First campaign, to MOJO’s leadership’s efforts to ensure we win more relevant mental health resources for youth of color. Instead of spending more resources on militarizing our schools and communities, we want solutions that will work to prevent gun shootings from ever happening again, instead of intervening when it is too late. For us, this means we must invest in support and services to create genuinely safe schools and communities where all people, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, religion or citizenship feel welcomed, safe and supported.
“For so many students, including myself, school is a safe haven when we’re dealing with problems at home or in our lives. I’m standing in solidarity with students around the country today because students deserve the right to feel and be safe in schools and communities. Instead of more weapons, we need more systems of support.” says Lisa Lai, MOJO Core Leader.
#CounselorsNotCops #NoCopsNoGuns #TrustStudentVision