Conejo Students' Walkouts Open New Front
In Struggle Against Gun Violence
America's never-ending debate over the prevalence of guns in our society has struck entirely too close to home recently for Conejo Valley residents. Last Saturday's shooting at the Oaks Mall may have been a targeted act of "domestic violence," but it left hundreds of mall-goers crowded in back rooms and thousands across the community fearing for the safety of their loved ones. Two graffiti'd threats at Westlake High School this past month -- including one on the day of last week's #NeverAgain student walkouts at Thousand Oaks High (top photo), Oak Park High (middle), Westlake (bottom) and the Conejo's other schools -- left parents wondering if their children can possibly be considered "safe" in their daily environs. And those walkouts themselves left students, parents and school administrators arguing about the events' usefulness, whether student protests are appropriate during school hours, and indeed over the gun-violence issues that have sparked such fury nationwide.
Indivisible: Conejo has, to use a loaded phrase, "led from behind" throughout the past month as local students have planned and carried out their walkouts. Working with teenagers organizing under the NeverAgainSoCal banner, we have helped facilitate meetings among students from all the Conejo Valley's high schools with state Sen. Henry Stern and his senior staff person, Morgan Culbertson. We have worked behind the scenes to help ensure that school administrators would allow the March 14 protests to succeed. And after local students decided to focus on the Los Angeles March for Our Lives this Saturday, March 24, we have organized buses to transport both students and adults downtown that morning. (See the calendar in this newsletter for details.)
We will continue to coordinate with the Ventura County Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence, and the brand-new Conejo Valley chapter of Moms Demand Action, to ensure that activism for stricter anti-gun violence laws remains strong and loud in our area. We also will assist students in any way they ask as they prepare for their second round of walkouts on April 20. In the meantime, the local events of recent weeks must change the way we approach our advocacy. The next time we talk to our neighbors ... the next time we argue with strangers on social media ... the next time we call our elected representatives ... let's do so with the terror of the mall shooting, and the uncertainty created by the school graffiti, fresh in our hearts. But let's also keep the logic of science and the knowledge of statistics in our heads. The constant threat of days like we have experienced recently simply does not exist in other civilized nations, where handguns and assault rifles are not part of the culture. The fewer guns exist in a society, the safer that society is.
Bus Seats Still Available
For L.A. March For Our Lives
Student organizers from the Conejo Valley's high schools have determined that their destination will be downtown Los Angeles on March 24 for the nationwide March for Our Lives, organized and inspired by the survivors of last month's shooting in Parkland, FL. Activists interested in taking the NeverAgainSoCal / Indivisible: Conejo buses can still sign up by email! Each seat is $32; we'll depart from the Park & Ride in Agoura Hills, at Kanan Road & U.S. 101, at 8 a.m., and we'll return there by 2:30 p.m. If you're heading downtown on your own, we'll meet up with fellow Conejo Valley activists between 9 and 9:15 a.m. at the Last Bookstore, 435 S. Spring Street, then head for the march.
Indivisible activists from the Conejo Valley, Ventura and elsewhere participated in the "Trump Is Not Welcome Here!" rally in Beverly Hills on March 13.
Be Prepared To Protest If Trump Fires Mueller!
As the days and weeks go forward, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian influence into the 2016 election seems to be closing in on proof of Trump's collusion and obstruction of justice. And recently, each passing day seems to draw Trump nearer to instigating a constitutional crisis by firing Mueller. Indivisible: Conejo has prepared for that eventuality by signing on to the nationwide "Nobody Is Above The Law" organizing effort. We stand ready to protest within hours of a Trump move against Mueller! Keep an eye out for details if and when they emerge -- and feel free to sign up and commit to participate in what might be the protest to end all (Trump) protests!
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
Indivisible: Conejo Daily Actions,