Things That Matter

How To Prep For The ‘March For Our Lives’ Event Happening This Weekend

This Saturday, activists across the globe are turning up for the fight against gun violence and taking part in the worldwide March For Our Lives Event. As you gear up and prepare for the rally, it’s important to know what to expect and have at the ready.

From keeping an I.D. on hand to bringing that weird fanny pack here’s a list of things to do and pack before the protest.

1. Find a march location and decide how you will get there.

March For Our Lives
CREDIT: franklinactivists/ Instagram

This is something you won’t want to leave until the last minute. One million people are expected to attend the event taking place in downtown D.C. alone. For anyone taking part in a march that is located in a big city, be prepared to tackle busy and slightly hairy public transportation systems, particularly because so many people will be trying to go to one place. Plan out safe routes that will help you get to and out of the march once its over.

2. Make it count, remember to sign the petition! (And RSVP)

CREDIT: marchforourlivesdallas / Instagram

Make sure your presence at the rally is known on a platform that’s more valuable. Sign the March For Our Lives petition and make sure to also RSVP for the event. Signatures matter and signing the online petition will help push this movement forward. Don’t forget to continue your efforts after the march by voting and ringing up your local representatives.

3. What to wear, what to wear.

CREDIT: marchforourlivesdallas / Instagram

Stay up to date on the weather and be prepped for unexpected showers and snow. Now is definitely not the time to let the weather rain us out. If you suspect that there could be even a slight drizzle pack a light poncho or raincoat.

4. Pick reliable shoes

CREDIT: amnestyusa / Instagram

Remember, you’re going on a march. Get your feet into a pair of reliable comfy shoes that you can walk in for hours. Don’t forget to wear cozy socks!

5. Wear the right bag

CREDIT: jewishwomenintl / Instagram

 You’ll need a place to AT LEAST keep your I.D., some cash and your cell phone. (If you’re packing rain gear, snacks, and water you’ll also want to have a bag that has space for that.) There’s no better time to wear that fanny pack you’ve been feeling iffy about than now. Or, go for a cross-body bag. Avoid big bulky purses that your mom won’t be around to carry for you, or could get you into trouble with security*.

6. Things to pack.

CREDIT: erinequalspeace / Instagram

Make sure you keep yourself comfy and energetic by packing items that are totally essential! 

7. Bring snacks

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Marches go on for hours. If this is your first time marching make sure you have everything you’ll need to be comfortable and energized. Energy snacks like granola and protein bars are great to bring along, but also be sure to pack water.

8. Pack water.

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You’re going to be walking for a while so it’s important to stay hydrated!

9. Wear your poncho

CREDIT: mossdorothy / Instagram

Even if you don’t have a poster to bring, your hands will be occupied. Opt for a poncho or coat (bonus points if they have pockets!) instead of an umbrella so you can keep your hands free.

10. Get a portable phone charger.

CREDIT: hotlistla / Instagram

 Make sure you have a portable phone charger on hand in case of any emergencies.

11. Bring some signs.

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It’s possible that people will be handing out signs for you to carry at the march, but if you really want to make a statement, make your own!

12. And a teeny first-aid-kit.

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f you wear the right shoes, you probably won’t have to worry too much about blisters. But you can never be too prepared when it comes to Band-Aids.

13. Don’t forget your medication.

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If you need any medication, be sure to bring it with you. You will be allowed to bring medicine through checkpoints, but you can avoid any problems by making sure to keep your medication in their prescription packages and bottles.

14. Bring a bandana just in case.

CREDIT: shamellbell / Instagram

We’re hoping to have a peaceful protest this weekend, but just in case things get out of hand, be prepared for worse case scenarios which could include tear gas.

*There probably won’t be tear gas or mace sprayed at the event but canisters will likely be present because of security. In a scenario where tear gas is sprayed, be sure to protect your eyes and lungs. Poor water onto your bandana and hold over your nose and mouth as you leave. Don’t attempt to rinse your eyes out with water, seek medical assistance for this first. Because most of the marches have been approved by the city there will likely be medical personnel at the event you attend. If you suspect tear gas could be sprayed at your event, consider wearing glasses instead of contacts.

15. Pack your identification.

CREDIT: shamellbell / Instagram

Having your I.D. on hand is important for everyone, but for trans marchers, it is doubly important that you have identification that matches your gender identity should you run into any emergencies.

16.Stay safe.

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You’ll always want to bring safety to your march, you never know what could happen.

17. Bring a buddy.

CREDIT: mermaid_katy / Instagram

When you go to a big event like this you should never go alone. Stay safe and make sure you have at least one friend who can keep an out for you and vice versa. The buddy system is crucial here.

18. Have a plan

CREDIT: mermaid_katy / Instagram

Hopefully, you won’t get separated from a friend, but there’s a slight chance that you will. Have a plan of where and what time to meet your friends if you do get separated and someone’s phone dies (bring that charger!)

19. Stay away from counter-protesters.

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Anyone who shows up to the march this weekend to counter-protest is looking for a confrontation. Don’t engage with anyone who yells at you or attempts to get violent.

20. Know where your exit points are.

CREDIT: marina.parodi / Instagram

Again all should run smoothly over the weekend, but should anything negative go down be sure to have an exit strategy. Once you arrive at the march have an idea of where your best exit points are around you to get away if anything happens.

21. Bring your voice.

CREDIT: shamellbell / Instagram

Unless you’re a march organizer you can probably leave your megaphone at home, but definitely bring your voice!

22. Send us your pics!

CREDIT: @50milesmore / isntagram

Don’t forget to share your pics and videos from the march with FIERCE. Send us your photos with the hashtag #FIERCEESMarch and post your images in our comments section on FB!


Read: Survivor Of Florida School Shooting Emma Gonzalez Is Turning Her Anger Into Political Activism

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What I Wish My Family Knew About How Their Vote For Trump Impacts My Life

Culture

What I Wish My Family Knew About How Their Vote For Trump Impacts My Life

fidmart85 / cantstayput / Instagram

Politics is a tricky topic for families and friends, especially when you are on opposite sides of the aisle. It’s hard not to take things personally when it comes to how those closest to you vote. Those feelings have been heightened since 2016 when President Donald Trump won on a campaign based on fear and hate. His rhetoric has never changed and his words and policies are having a real impact on the lives of millions, including me and my husband.

My family is a Cuban family living in Florida. They fit the description in more ways than one. They are a close-knit unit always visiting each other and having mini family reunions for every occasion. Covid changed that for a while but over time they have safely created a bubble with themselves. I am one of three in my immediately-extended family to leave Florida so they don’t see my life on a daily basis. I can only imagine that living in Florida would change that.

With the 2020 elections in just days, I have had some hard conversations with my family about things they’ve never understood or asked about. As a gay Latino man living in the U.S., my life hasn’t always been easy and safe. I grew up in a rural town in the Florida panhandle where it was not okay to be visibly and audibly Latino nor gay.

I was 16 when I had my first run-in with violent homophobia. I was at a keg party and I was pouring a beverage. A college student came up to me and asked if I was gay. Knowing the importance of self-preservation, I immediately said no. Without missing a beat, the man sucker-punched me in the face, called me a faggot, and ran to a waiting car that sped off.

My parents never heard that story. I lied to them when they noticed the welt on my face and told them I got elbowed at cheerleading practice. I know. I was a cheerleader and my parents couldn’t see I was gay. It was safer for me to lie and not let my parents know I was targeted for being gay, something they were in no place to accept are Cuban immigrants living in a rural, conservative southern town.

That moment instilled in me a fear that I live with to this day. No matter where I am or what I am doing, I always function at the level that I can be attacked at any time for being gay. President Trump’s rhetoric and administration has made that worse.

During President Barack Obama’s administration, I felt safe for the first time in a long time. I know that comes with some privilege, but it was the first time in in my gay life that I felt safe to be who I was. I came out to my parents. I became involved in politics to get people elected. I traveled as an openly gay man. I was no longer living in the shadows.

The 2016 elections shattered the feeling of safety and peace for me and my friends. Suddenly, all of us were on the chopping block as our rights and dignity were under attack again. The Pulse Nightclub shooting in June 2016 reminded me of how much hate there still was for people like me and the Trump campaign was fanning those flames. I was scared. My family didn’t understand why.

Most of my family voted for President Trump that year. It was a knife through the heart to know that most of my family was not concerned about my own safety and dignity. For them, President Trump’s election was more important than the very real threat he posed to millions of people.

I remember confiding in my family my fear that President Trump would try to eliminate marriage equality, won just one year before. I was made to feel like I was being dramatic. My husband and I got married the Friday after Thanksgiving because we just did not trust what the administration would do.

Four years later, Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito signaled that they want to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that made my marriage legal. How? With the help of Amy Coney Barrett, who was rushed in with just days left till election day. Marriage equality became law of the land in a 5-4 ruling.

This blow to the LGBTQ+ community comes after the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that LGBTQ+ people cannot be fired for being LGBTQ+. The ruling in June stated that LGBTQ+ were included in the Civil Rights Act under protection from discrimination based on sex.

The lawsuit brought to the Supreme Court to make discrimination against me legal was drafted by the Trump administration. The man my family voted for wanted to make me less than everyone else.

One of the first cases before the majority conservative court that could erode LGBTQ+ rights is Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. The case, which will be heard the day after the election, will decide if private agencies that receive government dollars can refuse people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, and even religion. How is this happening in the U.S. in 2020?

I am also a recently diagnosed diabetic. The Trump administration has been a hostile enemy of the Affordable Care Act since day one. The ACA, also known as Obamacare, has become increasingly popular with Americans, especially now during the pandemic.

Another case being heard on behalf of the Trump administration is a case to dismantle the ACA once and for all. This would throw millions of people off of their healthcare and would leave millions more with pre-existing conditions without healthcare.

A vote for Trump is a vote to strip people of necessary and life-saving healthcare. We have all read the horror stories of people dying of diabetes because they couldn’t afford their insulin. The Trump administration wants us to go back to those days. The court case could force numerous people to die from treatable and manageable diseases for the sake of profit over lives.

Republicans have no plan to replace the ACA. However, they have continued to lie to the American people and claim that they do.

There are several communities under attack right now. Black lives are at stake. Abortion rights are at stake. Healthcare is at stake. Immigrant rights are at stake. Trans lives are at stake. LGBTQ+ rights are at stake. Our standing in the world is at stake. The soul of our nation is at stake.

Under this current administration, I have seen my friends live in fear that they will lose rights. I have watched friends grapple with the understanding that they have lost rights.

My family claims to care for me, and I am sure that on some level they really believe that. However, as a gay Latino man living in the Trump administration, I have grown resentful. I resent that their votes are costing me and my friends their human dignity. I resent that their vote exacerbated the ongoing pandemic that has cost more lives than it should have. I resent that they ask why I don’t visit despite voting to limit my rights and freedom.

To my family members who have voted against this administration, thank you. Thank you for standing by my side. Thank you for understanding what is at stake for me and my marriage. Thank you for rebuking an administration that has caused unnecessary harm to millions of innocent people.

It is not too late to have your voice heard. Go vote. Millions of us are relying on you using your voice to determine the future of this nation.

READ: Remembering The Victims Of The Orlando Shooting, Many Of Whom Were Latino

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Dodgers Win First World Series Championship Since 1988 And It’s Great To Be An Angeleno

Entertainment

Dodgers Win First World Series Championship Since 1988 And It’s Great To Be An Angeleno

Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the champions after 32 years. The bizarre year of Covid and social distancing was also a year of wins for Los Angeles after both the Lakers and Dodgers bring home the championships. The city was alive with energy after the historic and wonderful win.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the new World Series champions.

The baseball team has not won a World Series championship since 1988. This year, after a long 32-year drought, the Dodgers broke that curse and delivered LA a win during the time of Covid. The Dodgers went against the Tampa Bay Rays and battled it out in a nerve-wracking and nail-biting World Series.

Of course, there is a lot of love being showered on the Latino players.

Latinos are a major part of the Dodgers and their fanbase is huge. There is a reason that the nickname of the Dodgers is Los Doyers. There are four Latino pitchers on the Dodgers and they made themselves crucial parts of the team this season leading the team to the championship.

The Dodgers triumphed over the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series on Game 6. The teams kept battling it out for the first four games with the Dodgers winning the first and third. The Tampa Bay Rays won the second and fourth. Yet, the Dodgers came through at the end with victories in the fifth and sixth game to clinch the title.

The story overpowering the coverage of the Dodgers’ World Series win is Justin Turner.

The third baseman tested positive for Covid-19 during the game and was removed when the test came back positive. However, when the Dodgers won the sixth game, Turner ran onto the field without a mask. He was photographed holding the trophy, posing with the team for photos, and even taking selfies without wearing a mask.

It is a clear violation of Covid guidelines for the MLB. According to reports, officials sent security to remove Turner from the field because he was breaking safety guidelines. He allegedly refused to leave the field.

Fans have a lot of questions about how Turner caught Covid since the league was supposed to be operating in a bubble.

The MLB has had issues with some teams dealing with Covid infections but it had been a while since one had happened. Turner was tested the day before the game but it came back inconclusive, a pretty common issues with Covid testing right now. Turner was then tested before the game and when the results came back positive in the second inning, Turner was immediately removed.

The MLB has launched an investigation into Turner’s outright refusal to comply with Covid safety guidelines.

“Following the Dodgers’ victory, it is clear that Turner chose to disregard the agreed-upon joint protocols and the instructions he was given regarding the safety and protection of others,’’ the Commissioner’s Office said in a statement. “While a desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner’s decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk. When MLB Security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply.’’

READ: The Los Angeles Dodgers Are Playing In The World Series And People Are Excited

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