Dueling rallies: Gun control, immigration, Morristown, May 5

sandy hook to morristown ride flyer 2018

Morristown has become such a hotbed for activism that demonstrations are competing for followers.

Take this Saturday, May 5, 2018, for example.

At 5 pm, cyclists from Team 26 in Newtown CT are scheduled to stop for a Morristown rally, on their annual ride to press lawmakers in Washington for stricter gun laws.

Meanwhile, at the other end of South Street, on the historic Morristown Green, activists plan a 5 pm show of support  for immigrants from Honduras, Nepal, Haiti and El Salvador facing loss of their Temporary Protected Status.

Organized weeks ago, the town hall welcome for Team 26 has become a somber ritual of spring. Parents and acquaintances of children and staff members murdered at the Sandy Hook Elementary School have been making this bicycle journey every year since the December 2012 tragedy.

The rally will present survivors of gun violence, along with Rector Cynthia Black of Morristown’s Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, and students Alexandra Stephens of Morristown High and Caitlyn Dempsey of Randolph High, according to organizers. On Sunday, area cyclists will give Team 26 an escort from town hall as it resumes its ride at 8 am.

Morristown’s Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center organized the rally on the Green–where Gen. George Washington’s Revolutionary War troops once drilled–this week.

The U.S. is rescinding Temporary Protected Status granted two decades ago, in some cases, to people fleeing natural disasters and political upheavals. Forcing them to return to their native countries will splinter families, disrupt local economies and endanger many TPS recipients, according to Wind of the Spirit.

Scheduled speakers include TPS holders Leticia Miriam,Pastora Vasquez, Jessika Giron, and a daughter of TPS holder Ann-Marie Cantarero; and members of the American Friends Service Committee and Wind of the Spirit.

In March, an estimated 13,000 people came to Morristown for the student-organized March for Our Lives for gun control.

Upwards of 15,000 participated in January’s Women’s March here. Activists from NJ 11th for Change have demonstrated outside Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s (R-11th Dist.) Morristown office virtually every week since President Trump’s inauguration.

There have been pro-immigration marches and Black Lives Matter marches as well. Hundreds flocked to the Green last summer to protest neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville, VA.

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  1. Many of these people settle into the free-stuff-community for a few months and then take vacations in — wait for it — HONDURAS!! Seems asylum isn’t needed from a nation that’s fit for vacations. Perhaps the green clad bicycle riders could loan their rides to vacationers so their trips wouldn’t be such a hardship. Compassion and all.