March For Our Lives occurs across the globe

March For Our Lives, a global movement where millions gathered to speak out against gun violence, occurred in hundreds of locations around the world on Saturday, March 24. After the recent shooting in Parkland, advocates decided it was time to demand stricter gun reform for the purpose of protecting lives. They took to the streets of Washington D.C with an estimate of more than 200,000 marchers and 800 plus sister cities including Los Angeles, Chicago and London.

March For Our Lives is a student-led movement that strives to take action to make schools a safe space for all students. In addition to organizing marches across the country, March For Our Lives also encourages advocates to sign the petition calling upon Congress to pass legislation that will prevent further gun violence in schools. This includes the banning of the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and enforcing stronger background checks for the purchasing of guns. Donations to the march go towards funding for gun violence research and prevention programs. Additionally, March For Our Lives urges participants to register to vote so that they can vote for politicians who pledge to end gun violence.

March For Our Lives also occurred in Milwaukee this past Saturday, drawing a crowd of almost 10,000 people.The march first began with a musical performance from the Sistastrings and an introduction from the student organizers, Izzy and Linnea Stanton from Marquette University, Marvell Reed from Barack Obama School of Technical Education, and Sophia Zhang, a junior at Homestead. These four organized all of the logistical information for the march including obtaining permits, closing down the streets, contacting the police and getting the stages and equipment. They also sold T-shirts to raise funds for the march, coordinated the speakers and promoted the event to increase the crowd size.

Following this introduction, there were several student and adult speakers including Alex Lasry, the Vice President of the Bucks. Many of these speakers shared personal experiences with gun violence, or talked about their recent walkouts at their schools. The last speaker, Katie Eder from Shorewood High School explained the continuation of March For Our Lives called 50 Miles More, a four day march from Madison to Janesville from March 24-28, the home of House Speaker Paul Ryan who has repeatedly blocked gun reform in Wisconsin. This movement calls upon Paul Ryan and Members of Congress to make a change in the laws that are being passed. All of the speeches and young voices inspired the crowd to march for the shared purpose of saving lives. “Knowing that millions have come out to march for the safety of students like me and all others affected by gun violence has restored an ounce of my faith in the ability of this country to change. I am so proud to be apart of such a powerful, student-led movement,” Alyssa Bokotey, senior, commented.

The thousands of advocates then marched from the Milwaukee County Courthouse to Red Arrow Park holding signs and shouting cheers that promote the missions of March For Our Lives. These marchers included students, teachers, parents, and politicians. “I was proud to march with my daughter Abby and stand with Wisconsin’s youth as they fight for safe schools,” Judge Rebecca Dallet, candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court said.

Following the marching, thousands gathered at Red Arrow Park to register to vote, donate to the cause, write letters to elected officials, and hear from more speakers. These include student speakers and Khary Penebaker, a volunteer for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. At the end of the event, organizers thanked marchers for supporting the cause and encouraged them to continue the fight. “Everything about the march definitely exceeded my expectations. I’m really happy that everything went smoothly, and I hope this movement will lead to some real change across the country,” Zhang, an organizer shared.

To donate to March For Our Lives, click here.

To donate to 50 Miles More, click here.

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