“Right now we students are hiding under our desks for our lives,” said Henry Shane, a community organizer, who just finished his freshman year of college. “We barricade ourselves with books, desks and chairs so that a weapon of war walks in our hallway. This is not right. This is not normal.”
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Shane is one of the organizers of a Friday vigil event at Manny’s – a space for civic engagement in San Francisco‘s Mission district.
“It doesn’t have to be like this. We don’t have to continue to be okay with this suffering and immense violence,” said Angelina Polselli, Manny’s events and operations manager. “We’re going to make space at Manny’s by any means necessary for people to come forward and share that anger and for us to say we don’t have to go on like this.”
From the youngest to the oldest, 32 names were read aloud at the microphone; the photos of the victims shot in Buffalo, Laguna Woods and Uvalde hang on a wall behind.
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“It’s our future I’m fighting for — it’s what Gen Z is fighting for, which is why we’re so passionate about it,” said Tiana Day, founder of Youth Advocates for Change. “No matter how exhausted I am at the end of the day, I know no one will do anything unless I go out and do something.”
“It doesn’t have to be the reality. It doesn’t have to be normal. So we all have to do our part,” Shane added. “Show up in our state capitols and town halls and meet with our legislators to hear from us the pain and the daily reality that we face.”
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