500 ANTI-GUN MARCHES
Gone are the often spontaneous political rallies of yore, when hippies and their ilk simply hit the streets for a cause. The upcoming March For Our Lives rallies planned around the nation in response to the Parkland school shooting last month are meticulously organized, bear carefully calibrated messages and boast vigorous social media. They also are strategically funded. Close to 500 of these marches are set for March 24, and many will receive financial help from a major gun control activist group — at the rate of $5,000 for each event.
A mega-march will take place in the nation’s capital. There will also be a multitude of “sibling marches” in all 50 states according to Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization primarily underwritten with funds from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The group has already raised over $3 million to fund the Washington march.
“Everytown is providing structural support for organic local marches planned in communities of all sizes across the nation,” the group said Tuesday. “Everytown previously announced $2.5 million in grants to provide 500 organizers with resources of $5,000 per march for associated operational expenses. So far, over 400 local marches have been planned by students and survivors in communities big and small.”
The group is monitoring an additional 100 marches overseas. The grand total at the moment is 482 events “worldwide” in the U.S., along with Britain, Spain, Italy, India, Vietnam, Japan, Chile, Australia and other nations.
The group also is raising money for the marches through clearly branded merchandise — a hallmark of contemporary protest actions. There’s a handsome “March Merch” collection of shirts and hoodies emblazoned with the March For Our Lives logo, ranging in price from $25 to $31.
We will see you in the streets,” the group advises buyers.
Out of 712 evaluative comments made on the air, only 65 were positive, or 9 percent. The rest — 647 comments — were negative, amounting to 91 percent. The ongoing Russia collusion investigation was the leading topic of choice, followed by immigration issues, the recent government shutdown, and the White House response to the Parkland school shooting.
Throughout January and February, the analysts also found that 63 percent of news coverage was devoted to scandals — and just 37 percent to policy issues.
“The results are essentially unchanged from the 90 percent negative coverage we documented for all of 2017, and matches the 91 percent negative coverage we tallied during the 2016 general election campaign,” said lead analyst Rich Noyes. “Without question, no president has ever been on the receiving end of such hostile coverage, for such a sustained period of time, as has Trump — and the midterm elections are still eight months away.” Time marches on, though. “The federal government spent $146 million on the National Endowment for the Arts in fiscal 2017,” Mr. Jeffrey points out. “President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal, sent to Congress in March 2017, called for eliminating federal funding for the NEA, starting by slashing its funding to just $29 million in this fiscal year.”