RED BANK – A march to bring awareness to gun violence could attract hundreds of people on Saturday, March 24 in Red Bank.
“The Two Rivers Families – March for Our Lives” event is inspired by the recent tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida. It received the blessing of the borough Special Events committee and the Red Bank Borough Council at the council’s March 14 meeting.
It is scheduled to begin at the Red Bank Train Station at 10 a.m. sharp and continue along Monmouth, Broad and West Front Streets before finishing at Riverside Gardens Park where different speakers will rally until noon.
Red Bank Police Chief Darren McConnell said the police department will be conducting a “moving road closure” during the march. He said roads will shut down in sections as the marchers come through Red Bank and will reopen as they pass intersections, in an effort to mitigate the impact on motorists.
McConnell said march organizers anticipate about 1,500 participants, “but it’s a very difficult thing to predict,” he said.
The march is one of 10 planned in New Jersey and 700 organized across the world in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14, when a former student stormed the school and killed 17 students and staff and injured 15 more. Marjory Stoneman Douglas students will be marching on Washington, D.C. on Saturday.
Organizer Mike Sikand, 53, of Oceanport, said marchers are in solidarity with student organizers nationwide who want to end gun violence. Marchers are “addressing this epidemic of mass school shootings,” and to “urge lawmakers to pass legislation to address gun violence.”
He added, “This march that we’re doing has nothing to do with being a Democrat or a Republican,” said Sikand. “Everybody has been outraged by this tragedy.”
“There is widespread support, and when gun control gets politicized, people go back to their hardline positions and then nothing really gets done,” Sikand said. “But we won’t put forth any political agenda. This is just for the kids.”
Sikand is Oceanport’s Democratic municipal committee chairperson and is also involved in the Dads Against Guns national organization. More than a dozen local activists and elected officials from the many Two River towns have helped coordinate the event, he said.
Organizers expect groups from Atlantic Highlands, Fair Haven, Highlands, Little Silver, Middletown, Oceanport, Red Bank, Rumson, Shrewsbury and Tinton Falls.
March information is online at MarchForOurLives.com or on Facebook @TwoRiversMarchForOurLives.
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