More than 25,000 women are expected to participate in sit-in op

Norman Ray

Global Courant

More than 25,000 women are expected to take part in a sit-in at the Colorado State Capitol on Monday, calling on Governor Jared Polis to sign an executive order banning guns and putting in place a system to buy them back.

The Here 4 the Kids movement, which advocates ending gun violence, is behind the event. According to the organizers, about 2,000 people were the first to gather. They also specifically call on white women to participate in the demonstration.

Tina Strawn, co-founder of the movement, told ABC News that black people have always been on the front lines for social justice.

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“So it’s about time white women showed up. It’s time for white women to risk their bodies, their privileges and their power to save our children,” she said. “And it’s something they recognize they have to do. That’s why they show up.”

On the importance of the sit-in, co-founder Saira Rao said, “We have lost our imagination to dream bigger and envision a life where our children are safe wherever they go. This is not a way of life. It’s not a way of life. Bulletproof backpacks (are) not normal, and we got used to it as if it were normal.”

“It has to stop, and nothing has worked since… the 24 years since Columbine,” she said, referring to the Littleton, Colorado high school shooting that left 15 dead.

Protesters hold a sit-in at the Colorado State Capitol calling on Gov. Jared Polis to sign an executive order to ban guns and put in place a system to buy them back, Denver, June 5, 2023.

KMGH

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Protesters hold a sit-in at the Colorado State Capitol calling on Gov. Jared Polis to sign an executive order to ban guns and put in place a system to buy them back, Denver, June 5, 2023.

KMGH

The organizers said the atmosphere of the sit-in is solemn and the names of people killed by gun violence since the start of the Here 4 the Kids organization in April are read at the beginning of every hour.

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Actress and director Lake Bell is one of thousands of women participating in the sit-in.

She told ABC News, “Here’s what you need to do — that’s show up, make the effort, get in on the action to really advocate and demand change.”

Bell, who is a mother of two, said: “I don’t think there’s a kid in America that goes to school that doesn’t live with fear and anxiety around the idea of ​​an active shooter or a lockdown scenario. They are not blind to that.”

“My daughter was very nervous about coming here,” she continued, noting how common guns are. “So I think it affects the mental well-being and mental health of our children.”

Other celebrities, including Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Niecy Nash and Amanda Seales, also expressed support for the movement.

In response to the sit-in, the governor’s office released a statement on Monday saying Polis supports the right to bear arms and is also concerned “with improving public safety, including reducing gun violence.”

The statement added that his “staff met with the organizers and expressed concern that the requests submitted are unconstitutional or require legislative action. The governor takes seriously the heavy responsibility of executive action and the trust that Coloradans placed in him to govern responsibly, and will not issue an unconstitutional order to be overturned in court just to make a public relations statement — he will continue to focus on real solutions to make Colorado one of the 10 safest states.”

Protesters hold a sit-in at the Colorado State Capitol calling on Gov. Jared Polis to sign an executive order to ban guns and put in place a system to buy them back, Denver, June 5, 2023.

KMGH

The organizers said they plan to continue the sit-in until an executive order is signed, and expressed optimism that it will.

“We must believe that any decent human being with the power to end the pain and suffering of children will absolutely choose their right to live over the right to bear arms,” ​​Rao said. “We believe (Polis) will do it, because what decent person wouldn’t?”

More than 25,000 women are expected to participate in sit-in op

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