WASHINGTON, D.C.– Thousands gathered today in Washington, D.C. as well as other cities across the country for the protest called ‘March for Our Lives’, to demand action against gun violence. The student-led movement rose after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. that left 17 students dead.
The crowd included students of all ages, teachers, parents, and many other Americans who are ready to see a change in the laws on gun control. All of the speakers at the event were under the age of 18, while many of them were survivors of the Parkland shooting, others were students in the D.C. area who have been affected by gun violence.
Emma González, Stoneman Douglas student and activist, stood on stage in silence for 6 minutes and 20 seconds to bring awareness to the amount of time it took the gunman to kill 17 people at her school. When her timer went off, she told the crowd, “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”
The crowd at the march was very emotional and many were teary eyed at the remarks made by the speakers.
Amber Kelly, a teen mother, stood in the crowd with her son and expressed the worry she has for her son attending school. “I’m more so scared for my son than myself. I don’t have the money to send my child to private school or home school him. How can I feel comfortable sending my son to school if I know there’s a possibility he could be shot?”
Helena Ristic, 24, originally from Serbia, decided to join the march to support the young people leading the event and to help end gun violence. “I think this event shows that even though they’re kids, they can still make change. We all want gun violence to end,” Ristic said.
Unlike other marches hosted on the capitol, the majority of the attendees were children. Many held signs and walked alongside their families.
Zachary Hill, 8, walked with his mom and two siblings and was excited he could be apart of this movement. “I’m really happy we’re making a change for the future,” said Hill.