On Saturday, March 24, hundreds of cities across the United States saw massive protests under the banner of March For Our Lives. The events were aimed at stopping the epidemic of school shootings and gun violence in the country through the students themselves, who are most at risk.
The March For Our Lives was first organized by survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting just over six weeks ago. Many of the students who made it through the shooting vowed that they would never let it happen again, and the demonstrations on Saturday were jus a part of that.
The Stoneman Douglas students were present at the March For Our Lives in Washington D.C., where thousands of people flooded Pennsylvania Avenue to call for change. The event received support and massive donations from people like Oprah Winfrey and George and Amal Clooney. It also saw performances by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jennifer Hudson, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande and many others.
The powerful demonstrations didn't end there, however. Back in their hometown of Parkland, Florida, a massive rally saw impassioned speeches by survivors and the families of those who were lost. Hundreds of other cities took part, as countless other shootings have ravaged countless other communities.
Students from Chicago spoke about the prevalence of guns in their community, while students from Maryland spoke about the recent shooting that rocked Great Mills High School.
The outspoken students weren't all preaching one cohesive strategy to end the cycle of violence in America. However, they were unified by the belief that politicians are taking too much money from lobbyists, and not listening enough to their constituents.
They advocated for a push to vote out lawmakers who take money from groups like the National Rifle Association, so that an agreement on gun control policy could be reached.
ICYMI: today we took to the streets of Washington, DC to demand that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools and communities. This is just the beginning https://t.co/f0sYVWeA51— March For Our Lives (@AMarch4OurLives) March 24, 2018
The marches took place in hundreds of cities, ranging from small gatherings at town halls to massive demonstrations at state capitals. Here's a look at some of the events that made headlines.
A massive crowd turned out in Fort Worth, Texas, for the local March For Our Lives. Local news crews captured captured the assembled adults listening and cheering as the students spoke out about the need for change.
About 270 miles away, another Texas city cried out for change. The gathering in Houston, Texas, saw an eager crowd making their voices heard. Not long before the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, Texas was home to another brutal mass shooting, when a gunman entered a church in Sutherland Springs.
In Florida's state capitol, Tallahassee, demonstrators marched to show lawmakers that they meant business. After the shooting in Parkland, Florida state government officials agreed to meet with survivors, but dismissed their calls for gun law reform. Several weeks later, they passed a new law that has been wildly unpopular on both sides of the political spectrum.
In Nashville, Tennessee, an enormous crowd gathered in Public Square Park. Nashville, too, has been home to a school shooting in the short three months since 2018 began, and residents turned out to say that enough is enough.
"The hardest part for me was walking out of school,"— Jonathan Capriel (@JonathanCapriel) March 24, 2018
Stoneman Douglas High School student Susana Matta Valdivies, 17, talking to the crowd at the Tampa #MarchForOurLives rally pic.twitter.com/4NH0uRBGsM
In Tampa, Florida, protesters chanted "What do we want? Gun control! When do we want it? Now!" as they marched down the street. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Susana Matta Valdivies, just 17 years old, spoke at the event.
More of the signs from the #MarchForOurLives in Wichita.
Also: volunteers are here registering people to vote. pic.twitter.com/YbPGSl3ENW— Nichole Manna (@NicholeManna) March 24, 2018
A massive march in Wichita Kansas saw some protest signs that were in overt opposition to the National Rifle Association. One read "$ from NRA = Badge of Shame," while another said "'NRA' 'Not Really America.'"
A March For Our Lives event in Atlanta, Georgia dominated the street as protestors called on their lawmakers for change.
The scene in Portland, Oregon showed a big turnout, even in the rainy north-western conditions.
An aerial view of San Diego's March For Our Lives revealed the enormous crowd making its way down the street.
Even in Alaska, students and protesters braved the slushy streets to stand up against gun violence.
Students in Honolulu visited their state capital on Saturday as well, one holding a haunting sign that read "I want to die of old age."