About Us: Silent March Timeline

THE SHOES CAMPAIGN STARTED IN 1993..

(Timeline currently being updated, stay tuned..)


January 1, 2013: Silent March 2013 relaunches in response to the Sandy Hook School massacre in Newtown Connecticut of 20 elementary school children, and six adults and a subsequent NRA announcement of its support for a plan to have armed guards in all schools.

May, 2010: 18,000 pairs of Silent March shoes given away: After a decade in storage, these shoes, collected by grassroots activists and displayed at the Liberty Bell during the Republican National Convention nominating George Bush, were  finally given to charity. The shoes had been kept for 10 years in a New Jersey warehouse in the event that a transformative event might occur, resulting in a broad public call for legislation to prevent gun violence, and therefore, re-showing of the shoes. Repeated visits to the shoes found them in good repair: flip flops and heels, boots and sneakers, an entire soccer team's worth of shoes, ice skates and furry slippers, wedding shoes, children's shoes and elegant leather boots. However, during the years of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, and until the Newtown shootings in 2012, the public was apathetic about demanding legislation to stem the ongoing epidemic of domestic gun violence. The 2000 event had been the only of the Silent March national protests in which the shoes were "saved" for later use.  

September 1, 2004: Silent March protest of end of 1994 Assault Weapon Ban.  Campaign displays five 8-foot puppets (resembling President Bush) sitting around a dinner table. Titled " Out to Lunch," this protest was against the Bush administration allowing the lapse of the federal assault weapons ban on September 13th, 2004. In New York City, Washington Square Park.

September 11, 2001: Silent March plans suspended in wake of the World Trade Center attacks.

July 19, 2001: UN: Silent March display of shoes a the UN Small Arms Conference, in Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, NYC.

September-October 2000: Silent March Traveling Exhibit about Youth Gun Deaths. 4,000 pairs of children's shoes displayed at Boston's historic Trinity Church in Copley Square, St. Louis and Kansas City, and Pennsylvania.

August 12, 2000: Democratic National Convention: Silent March display of shoes calling for stronger gun control at the Democratic National Convention in LA's St. James Episcopal Church. Speakers included LA Police Chief Parks, LA Dept. of Health. Los Angeles, California.

2000: Publication of Ten Completely Reasonable, Sensible And Obvious Ways To The Gun Violence Epidemic booklet. Thousands of copies distributed nationwide.

July 29-30, 2000, 2000: Protest at Republican Convention in Philadelphia: Silent March displayed 18,882 pairs of shoes at the Liberty Bell. They represented the number of youth age 19 and younger who had died in the four years since the previous presidential election. Concerned citizens in over 40 states, in memory and protest, sent the shoes.  350 pairs of annotated shoes were placed on a "Stairway to Heaven" display that sat at the foot of the Liberty Bell Pavilion. There was a counter protest by gun owners.

Major national and international media coverage resulted. See C-Span.

An advertising campaign that appeared on 100 Philadelphia city buses and fifty trains before and during the convention read When you kill handgun legislation, you kill more than a bill, featuring a photo and shoes of young Derek Valentin, a victim of gun violence in a fight over a girl. 18,000 pairs of shoes sent to storage. 

May 14, 2000: Silent March attends Million Mom March in Washington, DC; our activists wear costumes of teddy bears, soda cans and French fries to illustrate that government regulates even the most basic consumer products more strictly than handguns.

May 2000: Protest at NRA Convention: Silent March Protest at annual NRA meeting. Hundreds of victims shoes displayed at the Great Aunt Stella Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

April 11, 2000: Columbine School Shooting Protest: 4,233 pairs of victims shoes displayed representing annual young gun death toll in 1997 (the latest year for which data was available) were displayed on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol Building at 200 East Colfax Avenue in response to the Columbine school massacre in Littleton. Tom Mauser, whose son was killed in the Columbine rampage, was keynote speaker. He continues to wear his son's shoes when lobbying elected officials on gun control. Denver, Colorado.

March 2000: Presidential Candidates Campaign: The four major presidential candidates — Al Gore, George Bush, John McCain and Bill Bradley— were each presented with a pair of shoes of a gun victim. Deliveries were made by families of victims in conjunction with Silent March.

1999Silent March collaborates with over 75 organizations including churches, medical organizations, victims organizations, peace groups, student councils, youth groups and gun violence prevention activists and professionals.

1999: Silent March represented by ACLU in Philadelphia to obtain a first amendment right permit to protest at the Republican National Convention.

May 1998: Silent March "Be Better Corporate Citizens" Protests at 7 Gun Companies: The Silent March campaign protested with shoes representing teenagers and children (over 50,000 of whom were killed by guns in a decade from 1985 - 1995) in front of seven major gun companies, including Colt, Sturm, Ruger, Smith & Wesson in Connecticut; Maryland headquarters of Beretta USA; Bryco Arms in Costa Mesa California; and at Interarms Inc. in Virginia. We demanded better corporate citizenship, and regulation of firearms like other dangerous products in light of the litigation against tobacco manufacturers for the health care costs of their product.  Endorsed by a coalition of health, religious, and pro-gun control groups. Major national and international media coverage, for instance, LA Times article. Shoes donated to charity.

1998: Op Eds: Letters to editor published by NY Timesand Chicago Tribune.

1996: Second National Shoe Protest in DC: Once again, with grassroots state activists in over 40 states, Silent March collected and displayed about 40,000 pairs of shoes in Washington, DC in front of the US Capitol to represent the 39,505 gun deaths in the US in 1993, the latest year for which data was then available. Major national and international media coverage. Shoes later donated to charity.

1996: Shoe protests in states: Grassroots Silent March shoe protests received major state and local media coverage in such places as Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, New Hampshire, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, among other states.

1996:  Endorsers of the Silent March include American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Association of School Administrators, American Association of Suicidology, American Nursing Association, American Public Health Association, Childrens Defense Fund, Mennonite Central Committee, Ms. Foundation, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Peace Action, Unitarian Universalist Association, YWCA of USA.

1994: First Silent March "Shoe Protest" in DC: With the support of state groups, Silent March collected and displayed 40,000 pairs of shoes in Washington, DC in front of the US Capitol to represent the 40,000 gun deaths annually in the US in a two-day protest. Shoes later donated to charity. Major national and international media coverage, reaching as far as Europe and China.

1994: State mobilizations: Shoe protests held in dozens of state capitols were organized by state gun control groups across the United States.

1994: Creation of grassroots campaign Silent March, Americans Against Gun Violence co-founded by the widow of a gun victim from Staten Island and a freelance writer from Brooklyn. Incorporated in July as a registered non-profit organization. Logo donated by graphic artist Milton Glaser. Idea of shoes borrowed, with permission, from Holocaust Museum in Washington and, originally, from Yad VaShem in Jerusalem. "Silent March " name trademarked.

1993: The first anti-gun shoes protest held in Manhattan in front of Senator Al D'Amato's office to call for his support of the Brady Bill, which mandated background checks for gun purchases. The protest was organized by members of the then-fledgling NYC gun violence prevention group, today called New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.