Organizers try to draw half million to DC gun control rally
Mar 25, 2018, 01:39
People flocked, too, to a "March for Our Lives" event near the Parkland school where the massacre happened.
"And we can't only focus on school shootings though".
"No student should ever have to cover themselves with a deceased classmate to survive, but I was that student", shooting survivor Aalayah Eastmond said. It was that latest USA school shooting-and these students want it to be the last. She also opposes President Donald Trump's plan to give guns to trained teachers.
Within a month of the rampage, several companies cut ties with the National Rifle Association and stopped offering discounts, students from 3,000 schools held a nationwide walkout, and Florida's governor signed a comprehensive bill that included tightening gun laws. Organizers expect 500,000 to descend on the nation's capital, including many from Parkland.
Participants want to seize on public outrage in the wake of the 14 February massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland to convince United States politicians to finally take decisive action, including by banning the sale of assault weapons. Participants are fighting not just for students but for all victims of gun violence.
The speakers and crowd repeatedly broke out in chant urging people to take action in the coming general election, with a refrain of "Vote them out". "I understand the Second Amendment is important".
Community members are on-the-ground in Washington D.C.as well as New York, Chicago and London.
Organizers of the "March for Our Lives" rally in Washington hoped their protest would match in numbers and spirit last year's women's march, one of the biggest Washington protests since the Vietnam era and one that far exceeded predictions of 300,000 demonstrators.
Edmonton's march is one of dozens being held across Canada on Saturday.
The March For Our Lives movement has been spearheaded by students in the USA, with the survivors of the Parkland high school shooting becoming its face in the media.
Dantrell Blake, a 21-year-old who still has the bullet in his leg from a shooting three years ago, said he made the trip in hopes of helping the movement combat not only gun violence, but violence in general. "No one knows that those guns exist".
Axelsson is a student herself, and says she's not surprised.
"It's pretty simple for me", said Zoe Tate, 11, from Gaithersburg Middle School in Maryland, explaining why she marched in Washington. "People believe in universal background checks".
"The more we pressure them, the more we amplify the voices around the world - the more pressure it's putting on them and they are really cracking under the pressure right now". But doing away with bump stocks makes "a little more sense", he said.
"We've come together as a huge community after this", said Dryden.
Democrat Cody Campbell, a 42-year-old IT worker from Atlanta, suggested that the financial impact of the gun industry would prevent meaningful change.
This weekend, more than 800 marches are planned in conjunction with the main "March For Our Lives" demonstration in Washington D.C.
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