According to progressive activist Sarai Rao, next Monday morning at 5 a.m. tens of thousands of women will descend upon the state capitol in Denver, Colorado to hold a sit-in until Gov. Jared Polis signs an executive order immediately banning all gun sales in the state and establishing a “comprehensive, mandatory gun buyback program”. But as we get closer to the anti-rights protest’s official kick-off, it looks like Rao’s organization Here4TheKidsAction may be moving the goalposts.
A few weeks ago the Denver alt-weekly Westword had a glowing profile of Rao’s attempt to “use the power of white women to repeal the Second Amendment”, which featured a lot of boasts like these:
Rao compares the Here4TheKids movement to Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous march from Selma to Montgomery to protect the voting rights of Black people in the Jim Crow South; the brutalization of the Black people by Alabama State Troopers ended when white people joined the march. “Denver is our Selma,” she says.
… And Here4TheKids is serious about stopping the violence and making schools safe by giving real momentum to the anti-gun cause.
“Republicans have been playing chess; we have been blowing bubbles,” Rao says. This movement, on the other hand, “is coming and showing up for the game.”
The women who participate on June 5 won’t be like the “pink pussy hat”-wearing protesters who demonstrated against Trump, she says. “No, these are white women putting their bodies on the line. They’re coming to sit, and they’re not going to leave until they get this executive order from Jared Polis.”
“I’m planning on wearing a diaper,” says Wolf Terry, one of the white women who will be at the Capitol on June 5.
Sounds like the sit-in is going to be open-ended, right? I mean, you’ve got women saying they’re going to be wearing diapers so they don’t have to go to the bathroom and interrupt their activism, and Rao herself said the protestors won’t be leaving until Polis signs their ridiculous (and flagrantly unconstitutional) executive order.
At the official Here4TheKids website, however, organizers state that the sit-in on Monday, June 5th will end at 8 p.m., with another three days of protests to follow, all scheduled between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. And though Wolf Terry may still be sporting a diaper when she shows up on Monday, organizers have even helpfully provided a note stating:
“In addition to the public bathrooms noted on the map that generally open at 8 am, there will be additional designated bathrooms available nearby for Here4theKids participants on June 5 from 5 am to 8 pm and June 6, 7, 8 from 8 am to 8 pm. There are also nearby businesses with bathrooms that open as early as 5 am.”
So you won’t even have to hold it in while taking part in a sit-in, nor will any attendees have to give up their dinner plans (as long as they don’t mind eating late). They’ll even get to sleep in their own beds at night, unlike the participants of the march from Selma to Montgomery.
One thing they won’t get, however, is their way. There is virtually no chance that Polis will sign Here4TheKids’ handcrafted executive order declaring a “gun violence disaster emergency” and suspending the right to keep and bear arms across the state, despite his status as a Democrat. In fact, the governor has already issued a statement that expresses his “shared concerns about preventing gun violence”, but throws cold water on the demands of the prohibitionists.
“We are aware of the plans for this sit-in and share the concerns about preventing gun violence,” says a statement from the governor’s office, noting that Polis has taken steps to improve safety in the state, such as signing “landmark bills around waiting periods, raising the age to 21 for gun purchases, and a repeal of the state version of PLCAA,” referring to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that protects firearms manufacturers from being held legally liable for crimes committed with weapons they sell.
“The Governor supports the right to peacefully demonstrate and these individuals’ calls to improve safety and prevent gun violence,” the statement continues. “Their specific requests for an executive order banning all guns would simply be unconstitutional.”
Rao swears there will be tens of thousands of women at the Colorado capitol next Monday morning to pressure Polis into signing their unconstitutional demands, but she also swore that protestors wouldn’t be leaving until the governor acquiesced while her group’s website says they’ll all be heading home at 8 p.m. next Monday night.
One of those pledges has already been walked back, and I have a sneaking suspicion that when the hordes of anti-gunners fail to materialize on Monday in the numbers Rao has promised she’ll either quietly and quickly revise her previous statements or simply ignore her earlier comments altogether. Either way, we’ll be covering the anti-gun insanity that will be on display in Denver next week, and I expect that even if the crowds Rao predicts don’t show up she’ll still be giving us plenty to write about.