Almost a million show up to protest gun violence

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida

Parkland survivor Alayah Eastmond directly addressed the intersection of race and gun violence and pledged to continue fighting for change: "Yes, I am a Parkland survivor and an MSD student, but before this, I was a regular black girl".

March for Our Lives, which centers on Washington, D.C. but has inspired hundreds of sister marches across the globe, has brought thousands to the streets, including numerous Parkland survivors.

"We are going to make this the voting issue".

"It's a youth movement, and that makes me hopeful", said Gabrielle Weiss, "because I feel like as adults we haven't really been able to do much about this".

"I represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, lovely girls full of potential", Wadler continued.

Had Alyssa survived, Alhadeff said, she would have been in Washington alongside her classmates advocating for greater gun control. March For Our Lives marked the culmination of those efforts.

Hamdia Ahmed, 18, in Portland, Maine, told ABC News that she is out marching because "we are here to stand up against gun violence and for our leaders to step up to end gun violence". Amazingly, she pulled herself together and finished the speech.

A morning of heavy footsteps, loud chants and vigorous sign waving fell silent as 9-year-old Eden Lugo spoke into the microphone. "The shooter has ceased shooting, and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your life before it's somebody else's job". An aide to a Florida legislator was sacked after he called the school shooting survivors crisis actors who travel from tragic place to tragic place making impassioned but bogus political pleas to take away gun rights.

The main rally, which was expected to draw half a million people, was held in Washington, D.C., while more than 800 sister demonstrations and events took place around the world in cities like Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, London, and Berlin.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., sat at the head of the long table in his wood-paneled office as the teens - four students from Stoneman Douglas and four from South Broward High, in Hollywood, Florida - explained Friday why they had traveled to Washington to lobby for better gun control.

"When will we as a nation understand that nonviolence is the way of a life for a courageous people?" This should not happen that an innocent kid going into school to gain knowledge and education does not return home one evening. McDade said. "Dr. King once said, 'Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that". On that day, the NRA tweeted 13 times - including one that contained an image of an AR-style rifle along with the message, "I'll control my own guns, thank you".

Also on Friday, Trump signed a $1.3-trillion spending bill including modest improvements to background checks for gun sales and grants to help schools prevent gun violence.

She asked the crowd to join her in singing "Happy Birthday" for one of the 17 Parkland victims, Nicholas Dworet.

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