The best way to protest against gun violence showed up today in Washington D.C.
Seven thousand pairs of children's shoes were unloaded today early in the morning by the AVAAZ Activists right in front of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC. Every pair of shoe represents the child that was killed by gunfire since the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.
"We are bringing Congress face to face with the heartbreak of gun violence," Oscar Soria, a senior campaigner with Avaaz, told today to the press.
All shoes that cover more than 10,000 square feet were mostly donated by families who lost their children due to gun violence. Some celebrities donated shoes as well, including Bette Midler, Susan Sarandon, Alyssa Milano, and Chelsea Handler.
The most emotional moment today was when the five families of gun violence victims showed up at the "Monument for our Kids." One of the parents in attendance was Tom Mauser the father of the boy was killed in the Columbine school massacre.
"I’ll be traveling to D.C. literally wearing my son Daniel’s shoes, the ones he wore the day he died at Columbine," Mauser said. "I think this kind of event with shoes offers a very powerful metaphor both for how we miss the victims who once filled those shoes and also for how we see ourselves wanting to walk in their place, seeking change, so that others don’t have to walk this painful journey.”
Andy and Barbara Parker as well were among the attenders, their daughter, Alison, was shot on live television in 2015 while doing a news report for CBS affiliate station, WDBJ, in Roanoke, Virginia.
"It's amazing to see, people coming and taking pictures they can see the reflection of gun violence." Soria said.
The shoes will be taken off the lawn around 2 p.m. Tuesday, but Soria said that all 7,000 pairs will be donated to charity.
This isn't the first display addressing gun violence from Avaaz.