A Tradition of Protest
September 1994 and 1996– The Silent March was held in about 40 states, culminating each time with a major demonstration in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Volunteers in almost every state collected shoes representing the number of people killed by guns in their state, and shipped them to Washington. On the day of each Silent March, a sea of 40,000 pairs of shoes were laid out in front of the US Capitol, around the Capitol Reflecting Pool. Each time, this was a devastating, visual display of what the number “40,000 dead” really means.
May 1998 – Taking a cue from the lawsuits which held tobacco companies liable for the health and other social and medical costs of tobacco use, the Silent March claimed that gun companies have exercised poor business practices, and should be held accountable for the health and other social costs of firearm related death and injury. In the first-ever multi-state protest campaign targeting gun makers, Silent Marchers protested in front of major gun company’s headquarters in seven states, calling for better corporate citizenship from the firearms industry.