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“We say ‘No more’”: this is the March for Our Lives

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Whitman students join thousands for D.C. protest

Protesters flood Pennsylvania Avenue with the Capitol in the background. The march drew between 200,000 and 800,000 people. Photo by Annabelle Gordon.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters flooded Pennsylvania Avenue March 24 to fight for gun reform, decry the NRA’s political influence and say to lawmakers, “enough is enough.” Organizers put the number of attendees at 800,000, but independent observers estimated closer to 200,000 people joined the D.C. protest.

The march, named The March for Our Lives, was largely youth-organized following the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 students. More than 800 sister marches were held nationwide and internationally.

The event included live performances from celebrities like Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus but centered on Douglas survivors and young people from around the country. All keynote speakers were 18 years old or younger, with some even as young as 11.

Pullquote Photo

How many kids have to die for your hobby?”

— Poster seen at March for our Lives

Emma González, a senior at Douglas High School, stood in silence for 6 minutes and 20 seconds to represent the time in took for the gunman to murder 17 of her classmates. When the time had finished, she told the crowd to “fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”

González’s classmate David Hogg also encouraged the crowd to challenge those in congress and to turn this tragedy into change.

“When politicians send their thoughts and prayers with no action,” Hogg said. “We say, ‘No more.’ And to those politicians supported by the NRA, that allow the continued slaughter of our children and our future, I say get your resumes ready.”

Pullquote Photo

I’ve hidden too many 5 yr. olds in closets.”

— Poster seen at March for our Lives

Many others shared stories of loved ones lost as a result of gun violence.

Zion Kelley, a high school student from D.C., lost his twin brother, Zaire, at the hands of an armed robber.  

“I am here to represent the hundreds of thousands of students who live every day in constant paranoia and fear on their way to and from school,” Kelley said.

He added later, “Just like all of you, I’ve had enough.”

Many students said the protest gave them hope for the future.

“It’s all so moving,” freshman Ottavia Personeni said. “It’s an issue that really needs to be fought for right now, and having so many people and young people here I think sends a really powerful message that we will be the ones to make real change.”

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