Two Hays women, in their desire to show support to young people taking action against gun violence in the nation’s schools, are organizing a peaceful demonstration for Saturday evening in Hays.
Walk for Our Lives will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the steps of the Ellis County Courthouse, 1204 Fort.
The candle-light walk — glow sticks or something similar likely will be used — will encompass 17 blocks around the downtown area, returning to the courthouse for 17 minutes of silent prayer, all in honor of the 17 people killed by a gunman Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla.
Organizers Pat Schumacher and Donna O’Brien said their goal is to show support for the youth have taken up activism since the shootings.
“Our motto is ‘We stand behind you, we walk beside you and we march with you.’ And that’s it, to acknowledge those deaths and give support to those young people,” said Shumacher.
“We want this to be a peaceful, supportive demonstration. We do not want it to become politicized,” she said.
“We’re doing it to just get people to be aware,” O’Brien said.
The women had wanted to attend a March in Kansas City on Saturday, but their schedules didn’t allow it, so they decided to organize one locally.
They considered registering their march with a national March for Our Lives protest on Saturday, but decided to opt for a quieter event.
Although the goal is to keep the march non-political, the women hope it will encourage people of differing viewpoints to begin conversations that could lead to solutions to gun violence.
“We have a concern, a passion for this, and we’re hoping by doing this we can bring some awareness and urge people to go out and vote regardless of what their ideas and come up with some solutions,” O’Brien said.
“We just want to be part of that movement forward that brings us to the table, that helps us talk,” Shumacher said.