There are 7000 pairs of shoes outside the Capitol. Here's why

Erika Holt
March 14, 2018

Seven thousand pairs of children's shoes were lined up on the southeast lawn of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., Tuesday in memory of every child who has died due to gun violence, the global advocacy organization Avaaz, who coordinated the display, said.

The memorial comes the day before the scheduled national student walkout to protest gun violence following the Parkland, Fla. high school shooting last month that killed 17 people.

The shoes are from family members of victims, as well as celebrities, and others from across the country.

The memorial was set up by Avaaz, a group that mobilizes activists largely through online campaigns and petitions.

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The event was planned by Avaaz, an worldwide advocacy group, that has done similar events before. Staff and volunteers say there are 7,000 shoes symbolizing the number of children killed since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012. No link to any supporting information was included, but Avaaz said that guns kill more than "1,300 American kids a year". A sea of empty shoes also filled the grounds outside the Department of Health in 2016 to represent the millions of uninsured people who die each year from treatable conditions.

Organizers of the memorial said the Parkland shooting was the catalyst for creating the memorial.

Dozens of colleges and universities across the country, including at least three Ivy League schools, have said their application processes will not consider disciplinary action taken against high school students who engage in protests.

Pairs of shoes are laid out on the lawn outside of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, March 13, 2018.

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