The group planning to protest the appearance of the National Rifle Association President at a Republican rally on Friday at Murray State University will hold a silent vigil for shooting victims.
Protest organizers said in a release the vigil will honor the victims of the January Marshall County High School shooting.
NRA president Oliver North is the featured speaker at the Friday rally hosted by the Calloway and Marshall County Republican parties. Protestors have called North’s upcoming visit “insensitive” and have invited gun violence survivors and gun control groups to join in their demonstration.
The Marshall County GOP has said insensitivity was never their intent.
Organizers said Shaundelle Brooks, the mother of Nashville-area Waffle House shooting victim Akilah Dasilva, will be at the protest. Brooks said in the release she wants to “bring words of comfort” to Marshall County shooting survivors.
“I just want to let the students know that I’m in there — in the fight — with them until the end," Brooks said. “I totally understand how they feel as a parent losing a child to gun violence. My child spoke against gun violence in his music and in life, and for him to lose his life like that, I don’t have a choice but to be part of the fight.”
A group of 15 to 17-year old survivors of the Marshall County shooting are organizing the demonstration under the name ‘Youth Pursuit of Tomorrow.’
Several others are joining the protest, including a survivor of the 1997 Heath High School Shooting in McCracken County, Veterans for Peace, CODEPINK, No Rifle Association or '#NoRA', a new group announced on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, Survivors Lead, Women Against the Violence Epidemic or 'WAVE', Black Lives Matter Louisville, Survivors Empowered, Newtown Action Alliance and The Newtown Foundation.
Murray State University is closing early on Friday to accommodate the increased number of visitors to campus.