Heading Back to School, Youth Demand Gun Law Reform - Manhattan Express | Manhattan Express

Heading Back to School, Youth Demand Gun Law Reform

In Times Square, youth, including the late Joaquin Oliver’s friend Tyra in the foreground, show off fashions for schoolchildren faced with school shooting risks. | Photo by Donna Aceto

BY DONNA ACETO | On Sept. 9, the activist group Change the Ref, which aims to give young people the tools they need to create change, held a roving Fashion Week Back to School event to show off a collection of schoolchildren’s apparel, including bullet-proof vests. Highlighting the risks youth today face from gun violence, the aim was to be “very graphic, showing how this system is asking us to dress our kids before going to school, a restaurant, or whatever,” said Manuel Oliver, who founded Change the Ref with his wife Patricia to remember their son, Joaquin, who was one of 17 victims in this past February’s shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Manuel Oliver (in foreground) during a die-in in Times Square. | Photo by Donna Aceto

The mobile event, staged from a school bus, began in Tribeca and traveled up the West Side of Manhattan.

Manuel Oliver leads demonstrators through Chelsea Market, with actor Susan Sarandon behind him. | Photo by Donna Aceto

Photo by Donna Aceto

3 Responses to Heading Back to School, Youth Demand Gun Law Reform

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