Faith leaders, teachers mobilize for protests at NRA’s Houston meeting in wake of Uvalde massacre

"Don't look away," said one advocacy group. "Rally against the NRA."

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SOURCECommon Dreams

As national and local gun control advocacy groups prepared to rally in Houston on Friday to protest the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting days after a mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Indivisible Houston reported that Sen. Ted Cruz “made an early appearance” at the convention with a “startling admission.”

The group installed on Thursday a cardboard cutout of the Republican senator outside the George R. Brown Convention Center, where the NRA gathering will take place. Cruz was pictured giving a thumbs-up sign with the words “I murder teachers and children” written in red across his chest.

Indivisible Houston displayed the cutout as it joined faith groups, Moms Demand Action, Youth for Beto, and the local Black Lives Matter chapter in planning to protest at nearby Discovery Green this weekend.

“Don’t look away,” Youth for Beto urged gun control advocates. “Rally against the NRA.”

The powerful gun rights organization has faced calls to cancel the convention as the nation mourns its latest mass shooting victims, including 19 children and two teachers who were killed by an 18-year-old gunman Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

Cruz has garnered heightened outrage this week over his opposition to broadly popular guncontrol legislation as he’s scheduled to speak at the convention along with former Republican President Donald Trump and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Since the shooting, the senator has proposed equipping schools with bulletproof glass and “one door into and out of the school,” while accusing people calling for stricter regulations on gun purchases of trying “politicize” the students’ and teachers’ murders.

Indivisible Houston meanwhile accused Cruz in the hours after the shooting of profiting “off of the bodies of children” as he plans to speak at the convention.

Faith leaders including Teresa Kim Pecinovsky, an ordained minister with the Disciples of Christ, and Presbyterian elder Megan Hansen, are planning to lead dozens of people from diverse faith backgrounds in a silent march through the convention center on Friday during the meeting.

“Christianity has helped lead us to this place and that is a tragedy,” Hansen told Bloomberg in an apparent reference to right-wing Christian lawmakers who oppose gun control. “We should be leading away from the violence and individualism associated with guns.”

Becky Pringle and Randi Weingarten, the presidents of the nation’s two largest teachers’ unions, announced Thursday that they will also rally outside the convention center, joined by two teachers who survived previous school shootings in Parkland, Florida and Newtown, Connecticut.

“No matter where, educators know: this cannot stand,” said Pringle. “We need action to make our schools safe from gun violence.”

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