On Saturday, March 24, students and activists across the country are gathering at rallies under the banner of March for Our Lives, in the hopes of calling on lawmakers to enact new gun laws and prevent a mass school shooting from happening in the U.S. ever again.
March for Our Lives was started by student survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed just over a month ago. They conceived of a march on Washington in the hopes of channeling their grief into activism, with hashtags and slogans like "Never Again" and "Not One More."
"We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school," reads the march's mission statement. "We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. Our schools are unsafe. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives."
The rallies got off to an enormous start on Saturday morning, with hundreds of thousands of kids expected to participate, according to a report by NBC News. Many of the organizers from Stoneman Douglas High are in Washington, including senior David Hogg, who was targeted by conspiracy theories following the shooting, when many claimed he was an actor hired to promote an anti-gun agenda.
When NBC's Kerry Sanders asked Hogg if he expected the massive turnout at the March, he said "Honestly, as un-humble as this is, yes because our generation is sick of having to live through these mass shootings, having to constantly prepare for terrible tragedies like this."
The March began on Friday with events like voter registration drives, and candlelight vigils for the victims of shootings around the country.
The Washing National Cathedral will host interfaith prayer vigils, and there is even a benefit concert planned, which will include acts like Ariana Grande, Mily Cyrus, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Common, Jennifer Hudson, Vic Mensa and Ben Platt.
While the main event is scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. on Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation's capital, many reportedly began showing up early in the morning, excited to make a difference. Sister protests around the country also got to an early start, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and hundreds of other cities. American high school students on military bases around the world have even gathered in solidarity as well, posting their banners on social media.