Hundreds of gay activists will begin a campaign of civil disobedience and direct action against gun companies and their supporters today, reports The Guardian. Members of Gays Against Guns, a group formed after the massacre of 49 people at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando this summer, said they would “no longer stand by and watch the gun industry profit from death.” Organizers of the collective, which has more than 300 members in New York and chapters in nine other cities, said they were prepared to break the law and get arrested in their fight against gun manufacturers, their shareholders, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and its corporate backers.
Ken Kidd, who is helping lead the group’s direct action campaign, said it would go much further than other gun control pressure groups, such as the Brady campaign and Everytown, by “targeting not only politicians, but other baddies that work with the killing machine.” As well as directly targeting the two biggest U.S. gun companies, Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co, the campaign – which is modeled on and includes members of the 1980s direct action gay rights campaign group Act Up – will also go after their investors. “We are targeting corporations that either invest in the gun industry or align themselves with the NRA,” said Kidd. Today, the group will gather for a “die-in” at the headquarters of the investment firm BlackRock, which is one of the biggest investors in Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger, whose assault rifles have been used in recent mass shootings.