Originally posted on the Small Victories website
We spent this week cheering Emma Gonzalez’s speech, applauding Cameron Kasky’s challenge to Marco Rubio, and just being in total awe of the teenage survivors of the Parkland shooting. In awe of their audacity, their bravery, their silliness and drive and idealism. Their intolerance for bullshit, capacity to call out hypocrisy, determination to keep asking questions. Their organizing abilities, irreverence, and steel will in the face of some of the most powerful people in the country. Their heart.
All of the qualities that make these students remarkable are also shared by teenagers across the country—those who walked out of school in solidarity with the survivors, but also all of the other young people who have been organizing to create change in their own communities and beyond.
The most powerful politicians and political interests were on the defense this week, thanks to the courageous actions of a group of teenagers. This is a time for heroes. ✊
1. We’re beyond ready for big changes on guns, but we’re happy to see a lot of small steps toward progress just in this last week:
✊ A federal court asserted that assault weapons aren’t protected under the Second Amendment.
✊ The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a 10-day waiting period to buy an assault weapon in California.
✊ Oregon’s state legislature passed the country’s first gun safety bill since last week’s Florida shooting.
✊ Sleeping Giants members are pressuring companies to cut ties with the gun lobby—and it’s working. In just a few days, the First National Bank of Omaha and three rental car companies ended their partnerships with the NRA.
✊ In advance of the upcoming nationwide walkouts, students are already walking out of schools across the country—and Wisconsin lawyers will represent students for free if they face any legal challenges.
4. Mic.com journalists are the latest reporters to announce they are unionizing.
5. A Trump administration official was placed on leave for sharing racist conspiracy theories on social media.
7. Teachers in West Virginia went on strike and rallied at the state Capitol, demanding higher wages and lower health care costs—but not before they stocked up on meals to feed low-income students who rely on school lunches. And check out their supportive students. 😍
8. A federal court ruled that the military contractors who tortured people at Abu Ghraib can be sued and held accountable for their actions.
9. The Democratic Socialists of America saw four times the amount of young people attend their annual youth conference this year. 🌹
10. Just weeks into the job, Philadelphia’s new District Attorney took huge steps to end to cash bail and filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies for profiting from the opiod crisis. Plus the city dropped its charges against dozens of people for marijuana possession—and won’t charge people in the future, either. 🙌 🙌
11. The Illinois prison population dropped by 16% in just five years.
13. Black Panther’s opening weekend smashed box office records. Schools, churches, and activists bought tickets en masse, and people brought stories of the real Black Panthers back into the spotlight.
14. A Buzzfeed writer’s reporting freed seven innocent men who were wrongfully imprisoned.
16. LA’s City Council members announced that, in each district, they will provide over two hundred housing units to the homeless by 2020.
17. And Los Angeles community members blocked an ICE van from going anywhere—and then prevented the agents inside from entering a detention center.
And when it comes to #FriendshipGoals, the women at Call Your Girlfriend can’t be beat. In honor of Amina, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, her amazing besties behind the podcast are organizing blood drives in cities around the country in her honor. Click here to learn more and sign up, and bring your bestie too! 💝