Thousands Protest in March for Our Lives
Last month’s mass killing in Parkland, Fla., may be over in deed, but it’s far from over in spirit.
Nationwide demonstrations sparked by Parkland student survivors saw people of all ages take to the streets on Saturday, March 24, for a “sibling march” as part of the March for Our Lives movement. The protest in Atlanta, “March for Our Lives Atlanta,” was one of hundreds happening in all 50 states. The national day of action focused on calling for lawmakers to make students’ lives and safety a priority and to pass gun safety legislation.
Mobilizing protests after last week’s National School Walkout, the students are taking on legislators and the National Rifle Association to adopt stricter gun control, honoring the 17 students and faculty members killed on February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Students marched with signs and chanted, “Hey, hey NRA, how many kids have you killed today?”
“We march not only for our lives, but for all those who have been lost due to gun violence,” said Jennia Taylor, a student organizer for March for Our Lives Atlanta. “We march for the safety of future generations.”
The March kicked off at approximately 11:00 a.m. (EST) at Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta and ended at Liberty Plaza on Capitol Ave SW, Atlanta. The pre-march program began with a moment of silence in remembrance of those who have lost their lives to gun violence and in recognition of the survivors.
Students gave all the performances and acted as the emcees for the march. Speeches were delivered by student organizers Royce Mann and Jennia Taylor. Royce is a sophomore at The Paideia School; Jennia is a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and a senior at Spelman College in Atlanta. U.S. Representative John Lewis (GA 5th Congressional District) delivered the keynote address. Other speakers included Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting Jake Zaslav and Alec Zaslav, and Jacob Busch from Moms Demand Action.
In Washington, D.C., home of perhaps the largest march, Parkland student David Hogg warned, “To those politicians supported by the NRA that allow the continued slaughter of our children and our future, I say get your resumes ready.”
Videos created by the student organizers of March For Our Lives Atlanta played on screens during the march. MFOL ATL students have added their voices to the powerful #WHATIF social media campaign started by students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Their questions — including “What if I didn’t have to worry whether my little brother would come home from school?” and “What if I could worry more about my grades than my safety?” — reflect the sentiments of students in Atlanta and across the country. View MFOL ATL’s #WHATIF videos here and here.
Join the conversation on social media using #WhyIMarch and #WHATIF.