Did the March for Life Awaken a Sleeping Giant Familiar with Protests?
The California state Capitol was the site for one of the largest March for Life protests in the state on Saturday. High school students gathered at Crocker Park in Sacramento and marched to the capitol carrying signs "Never Again" and "End Gun Violence."
They were met by a surprisingly large and maybe even equal number of supporters from a different generation, Baby Boomers and the elderly. Some were in wheelchairs. Others used canes. There was a lot of gray and white hair in the crowd, but no lack of energy.
Did the teenage activists awaken a generation who came of age during the Vietnam War, assassinations of civil rights leaders and protests and rioting in the streets during the Age of Aquarius?
"There are a lot of us older ones," said grey-haired Sharon. "We're here because we don't want our grandkids to get shot at school," said her friend, Terry.
There was a familiar thread with Saturday's march and the ones conducted more than 40 years ago.
While the Vietnam era protesters yelled "LBJ! LBJ! How many kids did you kill today? The Sacramento students shouted "NRA. NRA. How many kids did you kill today?"
As I walked around the crowd, I looked at the older protesters holding signs "Protect Kids Not Guns" and "How Many More Must Die?" They were actively participating in the protest.
One group named "Raging Grannies" were holding petitions to sign. Another group of women called themselves "Grandparents Against Gun Violence."
"I just don't see how we can let this go on," said Carmine, who came with her granddaughter and grandniece. "This should have been stopped a long time ago," adding "I can't believe it take 16 year olds to get something done."
This older generation who once marched in the streets themselves stood for hours listening to the students give speeches on the steps of the Capitol. They were all impressed by the students leading the national march.
Marcia was one of the oldest supporters. She marched for gun control in 2000 in the Million Mom March in Washington, DC. She brought her sign from that protest to the Sacramento rally. She turns 80 this year.
Nancy feels the change from the students who were able to organize more than 800 rallies across the United States.
"We come from a generation who got change by protesting."
The thousands of older supporters at California's Capitol on Saturday are wishing the same thing for a new generation