14,000 empty shoes to give voice to gun violence victims

The activist group Avaaz just got a permit to place 7,000 pairs of shoes near the U.S. Capitol to represent the children they estimate have been shot to death in the US since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

A group of on-line activists with a knack for visual protests are planning a big one near the U.S. Capitol.

The group, Avaaz, is collecting thousands of shoes that they plan to arrange in a monument to the child victims of gun violence. They just got a permit and they're planning to set out 14,000 shoes in a grid, as a way to give voice to the young people who can no longer speak. They're hoping it will help pressure Members of Congress to enact tougher gun laws.

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RELATED: DC area students hold gun reform protest at White House on President's Day

Spokesman Oscar Soria says Avaaz will build the shoe monument next Tuesday, March 13 from 8:30am to 2pm on the Southeast lawn of the Capitol near the Library of Congress. They've set the date in advance of the March 24, March for Our Lives protest organized by the survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. "These are the missing people who cannot march because they're not with us," said Soria of the victims represented by th empty shoes.

Avaaz also put together the "3 Billboards," campaign that hit Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) after the high school shooting. SLAUGHTERED IN SCHOOL," "AND STILL NO GUN CONTROL?" the signs read. "HOW COME, MARCO RUBIO?" Pictures of the trucks with the signs went viral.

They also put together a display of 11,000 shoes in Paris in 2015 to pressure politicians on climate change.

The group is hoping volunteers will donate shoes at drop off locations:

  • Bus Boys and Poets @ 5th and K

1025 5th Street NW

  • New Course Restaurant and Catering

  • 500 3rd St NW

  • Code Pink DC Activist House

  • 1241 Evarts St NE

  • Pleasant Pops (Florida Ave location)

  • 1781 Florida Ave NW

  • Pleasant Pops (15th St location)

  • 731 15th St NW

  • Giant Food

  • 7137 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA

  • 666 G St NE

  • (Avaaz member’s home, look for shoe bin outside)

  • 7516 Dundalk Rd, Takoma Park, MD

  • (Avaaz member’s home, drop on front porch)

  • 638 A St, SE

  • (Avaaz member's house, look for bin with sign)

    All drop-off locations will have a visible bin or box labeled Avaaz.

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    If you have shoes but you're not able to drop them off in person, you can mail them to:

    • Attn: AVAAZ

    3133 Pennsy Drive

    Landover, MD 20785

    After the memorial, Avaaz says all the shoes will be donated to DC area homeless shelters and charities.