Long Island activists and elected leaders — including U.S. Representatives Peter King and Tom Suozzi — are expected to flood the campus of SUNY Farmingdale on March 24 to march in solidarity with students from across the country who are protesting gun violence.
The Farmingdale march is scheduled to take place at the Nold Athletic Complex at the college, at 2350 Broadhollow Road in Farmingdale, at 11 a.m.
Long Beach is also expected host a march on March 24. Organized by Long Beach Board of Education Trustee Darlene Tangney and former Long Beach Councilwoman Fran Adelson, the event will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. in Kennedy Plaza.
The two local marches are to take place in tandem with the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., where thousands of people are expected to gather and advocate for stricter gun-control legislation.
“We are inspired by the teenagers and high school students who are standing up collectively and demanding ‘not one more,’ and we want to help them organize across Long Island and beyond,” Suozzi, a Democrat from Glen Cove, said in a statement. “This is a young people’s movement, and it’s our job as elected officials to shepherd this passion so meaningful action is taken at the congressional level to address gun violence prevention.”
The rallies come on the heels of last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that claimed the lives of 17 students and teachers and spurred a range of proposals to curb gun violence. In the days after the Feb. 14 shooting, student survivors took to national media outlets and announced their plans to march.
King, a Republican from Seaford, said he would “continue to advocate for policies that prevent gun violence and keep our communities and children safe. I have continually been a lead sponsor of legislation which would expand the current background check system and look forward to working with Congressman Suozzi to make sure it becomes law.”
The representatives said they believe rallying for responsible gun legislation is a bipartisan issue.
Student activists were also to take part in a national school walkout on March 14, after press time. The rally was to be organized by Women’s March Youth Empower. Students planned to leave their school buildings and stand in silence for 17 minutes to honor the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting.
“I feel that the rest of us need to stand up behind [the students] and support them, because I truly believe they are going to be the ones to make the change in the gun control laws,” Adelson said. “They’re engaged, they know what’s going on, and they faced the guns firsthand.”