Hundreds of Americans have rallied against the National Rifle Association near Washington, DC, demanding an end to gun violence and stronger checks for gun owners.
Roughly 1,000 people gathered on Friday in front of the NRA headquarters Fairfax, Virginia, a Washington suburb, holding placards and chanting slogans against gun violence.
The protest, which was planned by organizers of January’s Women’s March on Washington, will end after a 17-mile (about 27 kilometers) rally to the US Department of Justice in Washington.
The protesters called on the NRA to remove a video posted in April called “The Violence of Lies.” The co-president of the Women’s March, Tamika Mallory, said the video “suggests armed violence against communities of color, progressives and anyone who does not agree with this [Trump] Administration’s policies.”
The NRA had endorsed then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during last year’s race for the White House, contributing to his election victory.
Some experts say the NRA, one of the most influential lobbying groups in Washington, is largely responsible for the gun violence epidemic across the United States.
Each year, more than 32,000 people die as a consequence of gun-related violence in the United States, which is by far the highest among industrialized countries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The demonstration comes after officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter charges in last year’s shooting death of Philando Castile, a 32-year-old African American, near Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Community activists say Minneapolis suffers from racial disparities, including high unemployment rates for blacks, a disproportionate number of arrests for minor crimes and inequities in housing and the school system.
US police officers fatally shot nearly 1,000 people last year, amounting to three deaths each day, according to an investigation by the Washington Post. A disproportionate number of those killed in 2016 were black, and about a quarter involved a victim who had a mental illness.