A national school walkout is ongoing in schools across the U.S. as students protest gun violence, on the 19th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado that killed twelve students and one teacher – with 23 more wounded before the shooters killed themselves. Two teenagers carried out the attacks on April 20, 1999.
Those who died were: Cassie Bernall, 17; Steven Curnow, 14; Corey Depooter, 17; Kelly Fleming, 16; Matthew Kechter, 16; Daniel Mauser, 15; Daniel Rohrbough, 15; Rachel Scott, 17; Isaiah Shoels, 18; John Tomlin, 16; Lauren Townsend, 18; Kyle Valasquez, 16; William “Dave” Sanders, 47.
Columbine High School will not have classes Friday on the 19th anniversary of the deadly massacre.
The national school walkout has already started in Parkland, FL where 17 people were killed in February as teachers rallied in support ahead of schoool opening
At 10 a.m. – in their respective time zones- students plan to gather for moments of silence honoring the victims at Columbine and other shootings.
From there, some students will head to rallies at their statehouses. Others will stay at school to discuss gun violence. Some are holding voting registration drives.
Organizers say there will be walkouts in every state, with more than 2,600 registered on the event’s website as of Thursday. Citywide protests are expected to attract thousands in New York City and Austin, Texas. Police in Richmond, Virginia, say they expect at least 10,000 at the state Capitol.
It follows a wave of youth activism that has emerged after the Feb. 14 shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Tens of thousands of students left class March 14 to protest gun violence in what historians called the largest youth protest movement since at least the Vietnam War. Days later, hundreds of thousands of teens and their backers rallied across the US, calling for tougher laws on guns and ammunition.
Plans for Friday’s walkout began only hours after the Parkland shooting, when a Connecticut teen started an online petition calling for protests on the anniversary of Columbine. Sophomore Lane Murdock then gathered a few other students at Ridgefield High School to orchestrate the national protest.
EARLIER: Students “March for Our Lives”, Demand Gun Reform, In 800 Cities Worldwide – Washington, D.C., USA: “I have a dream that enough is enough. And that this should be a gun-free world, period,” said 9-year-old Yolanda Renee King, the granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr., at the main March for Our Lives rally in D.C. today as hundreds of thousands called for gun reform in rallies in 800 cities across the U.S. and globally. Rally organizers, galvanized by the Florida mass shooting, are calling on politicians in the U.S. Capitol and statehouses to take decisive action on gun control measures, including banning assault weapons.
Organizers reported as many as 800,000 people gathered for the Washington, D.C. anti-gun violence rally on Saturday afternoon.
The anti-gun-violence rallies are the latest – and largest – effort of student activists spurred to action after a 19-year-old opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in mid-February, leaving 17 people dead.
Saturday’s marches were attended by numerous celebrities and politicians, while others tweeted support for demonstrators around the country.
Parkland survivor Samantha Fuentes led Washington, DC’s #MarchForOurLives in singing “Happy Birthday” to her classmate Nicholas Dworet, who was killed in the shooting and would have turned 18 today.
The D.C. event included Broadway stars Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt performing their anti-gun violence mashup “Found/Tonight,” as well as speeches from the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting, which left 17 students and faculty dead.
Jennifer Hudson performed Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changin'” with a gospel choir at #MarchForOurLives in Washington, DC.
“Thank you so much for fighting for change and for love and safety and for our future,” Ariana Grande said after performing “Be Alright” at #MarchForOurlives in Washington, DC.
Among the celebrities participating in the march are Ariana Grande, Julianne Moore, George Clooney, Jimmy Fallon and Demi Lovato.
As in every U.S. state today, thousands of Texans protest for gun control across the state in March for Our Lives rallies.
“This is a defining moment for our city, our state and our country,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told rally attendees at the city’s Tranquility Park Saturday morning, just one of several rallies in Texas that drew tens of thousands of attendees.
At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the school’s students and Parkland, Florida, residents called for an end to gun violence at their local March for Our Lives event.
One of more than 800 rallies held throughout the world this weekend, students, parents, teachers and alumni spoke Saturday at the South Florida rally, which was followed by a two-mile march past the school. Although protesters chanted for most of the march, they fell silent as they approached the school to honor the 17 victims.
17 year old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Samantha Mayor was shot in the knee as she studied in her psych class. Today, at #MarchForOurLives she said “I march because I was almost silenced.” with a huge placard.
Two Stoneman Douglas students, Kyle Laman and Ashley Baez, turned out at Saturday’s rally in Washington, despite still recovering from injuries they sustained in the shooting. Laman, who appeared at the march in a wheelchair, was shot in the foot during the attack, while Baez, who had been shot in the leg, used a cane to walk.
Music legend Paul McCartney made a surprise appearance at the “March For Our Lives” in New York on Saturday to speak out in support of gun control saying that the death of bandmate John Lennon was the inspiration for his attendance.
Bill Clinton Verified account @BillClinton: America owes its gratitude to the students of Stoneman Douglas and their peers across the country who have joined their cause. We also owe them our support. Join #MarchForOurLives tomorrow to stop mass school shootings and give our kids their futures back.- Former President Clinton Tweeted ahead of today’s event.
March For Our Lives Verified account @AMarch4OurLives: “We need to arm our teachers with pencils, pens, paper, and the money they need.” -@Ryan_Deitsch #MarchForOurLives
Kamala Harris Verified account @SenKamalaHarris: This movement doesn’t stop today. It’s just getting started. These young people are going to change this country. #MarchForOurLives
Protesters participating in the “March for Our Lives” rally in New York City wore veils to honor the victims of gun violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The protesters were spotted in Manhattan on Saturday during the rally, and also carried the photos of gun violence victims. The 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., left 28 people dead, most of them children between 6 and 7 years old.
The protest comes only a few days after a shooting at Great Hills High School in southern Maryland, saw two students killed.
Elizabeth Warren @elizabethforma: I’m honored to fight alongside these students in Boston to stop gun violence in our schools… Surprise stop in Worcester to thank our student #MarchForOurLives organizers!
Barack Obama @BarackObama: Michelle and I are so inspired by all the young people who made today’s marches happen. Keep at it. You’re leading us forward. Nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change.
Hillary Clinton @HillaryClinton: Listening to the students from Parkland and across the country today is a reminder of what is possible when our future is in the right hands, and when we match inspiration with determination.
As hundreds of thousands of people around the US demonstrated against gun violence during the March for Our Lives, President Trump spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and at his nearby golf course. So protesters in West Palm Beach went to him, getting as close as they could to the so-called Winter White House.
About 2,000 protesters, some donning wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses in the warm Florida weather and carrying protest signs, marched toward the resort and chanted, “How many more? Not one more!” and “Save children, not guns!”
“Our children are dying! Trump is golfing,” one poster displayed outside the White House read, criticizing the fact that President Trump had spent Saturday at his Palm Beach, Florida estate. “We’re outside the WH for the #MarchForOurLives. Lots of kids but also lots of adults out here for the march.” — Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp).
Merlin’s Mom @mersmom8: The French President releases a statement of support for marchers, former present Obama & former first lady Michelle send their support, but 45 just golfs.
Madonna Verified account @Madonna: It is our Responsibility, our Duty and our Right to Stand Together, with every Student, every Family, Every Human!! ♥ Every Heart! And Demand an End to Gun Violence! #MSDStrong #MarchForOurLives #NeverAgain
Former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential contender for the White House in 2020, surprised rallygoers at a “March for Our Lives” event in his home state of Delaware. He delivered remarks at a protest in Wilmington, where he praised students for resurfacing the debate over gun control. “What’s happening now is you’re ripping the Band-Aid off,” he said. “You’re forcing people to look squarely in the eye what they don’t want to face.” Biden said.
Teri Kanefield @Teri_Kanefield: Today I’d like remember Barbara Johns, the 16 year old who led a walkout of her high school in 1951 and helped changed the U.S. laws. Why was she forgotten so long and not given credit for her outsized contribution? Perhaps because. …#March4OurLives
Today’s March for Our Lives was coordinated by Everytown for Gun Safety, a group backed by Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor. The protests come 10 days after National Walkout Day in which students nationwide, stood up in their classrooms and walked out of their schools for 17 minutes beginning at 10 a.m. in their respective local time zones in order to pressure Congress to approve gun control legislation after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that killed 17. Students also sat silently with backs to White House for 17 minutes on #NationalWalkoutDay. More walkouts are planned on April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.
At least 73 teenagers have been shot to death In the 37 Days since the Parkland School massacre, according to database compiled by Gun Violence Archive, a not-for-profit organization that tracks shootings across the country. That’s a rate of nearly two teens each day. Because Gun Violence Archive culls its data from media reports, there may be cases that haven’t been included.