‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’: Hundreds of thousands descend on Washington and across the US for the ‘March for Our Lives’ rally against gun violence

Hundreds of thousands of people fed up with gun violence in America descended on Washington – and in cities around the world – on Saturday to demand change.

The “March for Our Lives” protests come just over a month after 17 people were fatally gunned down at a high school in Parkland, Florida.


On February 14, a gunman shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

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March 24, 2018, March for Our Lives in Washington, DC
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Eliza Relman/Business Insider

Following the shooting, on Saturday, tens of thousands of students, parents, teachers, and others supporting gun control filled the streets in Washington, DC.

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Leah Mills/Reuters

Students and families from all over the country traveled to DC to join the march.

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Students from Centreville, Virginia wear targets on their chests as they arrive for the March for Our Lives rally in DC.
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One family from Westchester, New York told Business Insider they traveled there to raise awareness about gun violence and to support the Parkland students.

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March 24, 2018, Washington, DC, “March For Our Lives”
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Eliza Relman/Business Insider

Nine-year-old Emma Weill-Jones participated in a rally in Philadelphia.

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Over 200 students, teachers, and parents from Newtown, Connecticut, marched as well in honor their friends and family who were killed in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.


The main event was organized in Washington.


Student survivors from the Parkland massacre, who have since mobilized against gun violence, organized the march.

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Holding pictures of victims killed in gun violence, people protest gun violence in New York City.
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“In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us, 15 were injured, and everyone in the Douglas community was forever altered,” Emma Gonzalez, a student survivor and gun control activist, said in a speech Saturday. “Everyone who has been touched by the cold grip of gun violence understands.”

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Emma Gonzalez tears up during her speech.
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Some celebrities, lawmakers, and gun control groups supported the march, helping fund the organizers and bus people into Washington who otherwise might not have been able to attend.

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Lin Manuel Miranda, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson, and Ariana Grande were among the celebrities who performed at the event in DC.

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Singer Ariana Grande performs the song “Be Alright” in Washington.
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Thomson Reuters

“To every friend, parent, sister, or brother who lost a loved one, my heart is with you,” Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai said in a a video message to the rally goers on Saturday. “Whatever your politics, I know that no one wants another child to witness what these children have seen.”

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Malala Yousafzai.
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Hundreds of other protests took place in cities around the world as well.

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People take part in the “March for Our Lives” outside the US Consulate in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
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The protestors aimed their frustrations at the National Rifle Association (NRA), one of the country’s most powerful lobbying groups and a key defender of the Second Amendment.

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Protestors in New York City.
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Shannon Stapleton

Gun control activists are also calling on lawmakers who support the NRA to be voted out of office.


“We are going to make this the voting issue,” David Hogg, a senior at Stoneman Douglas and staunch supporter of gun control, said during a speech at the march. “We are going to take this to every election in every state and every city. We are going to make sure the best people get into our elections to run not as politicians but as Americans.”


Gun control activists tend to perceive the NRA as an impediment to what they refer to as “common sense” solutions to gun violence.


Some activists are already seeing some change. “I think we’re effectively agitating and people’s strongly-held opinions are starting to loosen up,” Pia Tiimob, a 17-year-old who marched in DC, told Business Insider.

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Stephanie Halperin and Pia Tiimob, both 17, from Bethesda, Maryland, attended the rally in DC.
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Eliza Relman/Business Insider

Kyle Kashuv, another student survivor from Stoneman Douglas who has been an outspoken advocate of the Second Amendment, decided not to attend Saturday’s march in DC.


Kashuv, who disagrees with gun control and has met with lawmakers to shore up background checks, explained his decision not to attend to Fox Business Network: “I could march, but I think my time would be much better well spent meeting with legislators.”

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Kyle Kashuv, a student survivor from Stoneman Douglas.
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Twitter

Source: Fox Business Network


One of the lawmakers Kashuv met with was Sen. Marco Rubio, who commended the protestors for exercising their First Amendment rights.

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Sen. Marco Rubio.
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“While I do not agree with all of the solutions [the protestors] propose, I respect their views and recognize that many Americans support certain gun bans,” Rubio said in a statement. “While protests are a legitimate way of making a point, in our system of government, making a change requires finding common ground with those who hold opposing views.”

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Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Cameron Kasky (left) asks Rubio a question about guns in a CNN town-hall event in February.
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REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool

Source: Twitter


The Trump administration praised students for engaging in the political process. “We applaud the many courageous young Americans exercising their First Amendment rights,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said in a statement.

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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Source: The Washington Post


Many of the protestors who attended the march are pushing for stronger background checks.

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They’re also calling for a ban on assault rifles like the AR-15, which was the type of gun used in the Parkland shooting and many others.

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“In other countries, this isn’t really a problem anymore because they realized the problem and they fixed it,” Nafisat Pade, 20, told Business Insider. “They found a solution, which would be stronger gun control.”

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Eliza Relman/Business Insider

“I have a dream that enough is enough, and that this should be a gun free world,” Yolanda King, the granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr, said on Saturday. “Spread the word, have you heard, all across the nation, we are going to be a great generation.”

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Yolanda King.
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Thomson Reuters