Women's March organizers are protesting the NRA. These are their demands.

On Friday, July 14, demonstrators will march more than 20 miles from the NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, to the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

The organizers behind January's much-lauded Women's March are hosting the peaceful, mass-mobilization effort in response to a dangerous, fear-mongering advertisement created by the NRA. The 60-second video seems to be a thinly veiled call to arms against progressive voices (particularly those protesting President Trump and his ilk) and people of color.

Protests erupted in Minnesota after Officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted on all counts in the shooting death of Philando Castile. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images.


Women of all backgrounds and political beliefs deserve to feel safe in their communities, but instead, many are being bullied into silence.

So until equality and justice prevail, they will march.

A statement from the NRA2DOJ Facebook event laid out the impetus for the mass demonstration.

"Recent actions of the NRA demonstrate not only a disregard for the lives of black and brown people in America, but appear to be a direct endorsement of violence against women, our families and our communities for exercising our constitutional right to protest. On July 14th, Women’s March and partners will mobilize a mass demonstration, again grounded in the principles of Kingian nonviolence, to denounce the false and intimidating rhetoric of hatred and send a clear message that our movement will proudly and bravely continue to strive for the respect of the civil and human rights of all people."

A woman holds up a tapestry that says 'BLACK LIVES MATTER' on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol building. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images.

This is much bigger than an inflammatory video. Gun violence is a national issue that puts women at considerable risk.

Piecemeal federal and state-level laws do a poor job of keeping guns out of the hands of convicted domestic abusers and stalkers. Federal laws that prohibit domestic abusers from owning guns don't apply to dating partners or those convicted of misdemeanor-level stalking. And even with federal laws in place, officials often don't have the manpower to enforce these laws at the local level. And the laws mean little when people can buy guns from unlicensed private sellers without a background check.

In more than 50% of mass shootings, the shooter killed a family member or current or former spouse or intimate partner, according to research by Everytown for Gun Safety. In 18% of mass shootings, the shooter had been previously charged with domestic violence. These patterns are too clear to ignore.

Ismaiiyl Brinsley, Robert Lewis Dear, and Esteban Santiago are attackers with a history of domestic violence. Photos via Cobb County Sheriff's Office/Getty Images, Handout/Getty Images, and Handout/Getty Images.

Women's March hopes this mass mobilization effort will lead the NRA to take the following actions:

  1. Remove the irresponsible video advertisements from the group's social networks.
  2. Apologize for suggesting, encouraging, or inciting violence against communities of color and people who disagree with the Trump administration.
  3. Release a statement defending Philando Castile's Second Amendment rights. Castile — a black concealed carry permit holder with a registered weapon — was shot and killed by Officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop. Yanez was recently acquitted of all charges, but the NRA has yet to defend Castile's rights or concealed carry privileges, leaving many to wonder if the advocacy group cares about the rights of people of color.

Given the NRA's apparent attitude toward apologies, these demands are a long shot.

Their initial response to an open letter from Women's March was a video titled, "We Don't Apologize for Telling the Truth."

But, ultimately, nothing can stand in the way of women with passion, political might, and persistence. Absolutely nothing.

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

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The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

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Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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