RECAP: March for Our Lives
Millions of teenagers and their supporters protested across the United States on Saturday, vowing to transform their fear and grief into action against gun violence.
The student survivors of the shooting in Parkland organized the March for Our Lives protest, after 17 students died in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14.
The primary protest was in streets of Washington D.C, but other protests erupted in every state in the United States, including in large cities across the country like New York; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and Austin, Texas.
In Austin, thousands of students and advocates of stricter gun laws marched from City Hall to the Texas Capitol in support of the March for our Lives. Organizers estimated at 2:30 p.m. that 20,000 people had turned out for the event.
Notable people like Austin Mayor Steve Adler, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, state Sen. Kirk Watson, Austin school board member Ted Gordon and celebrity speaker Matthew McConaughey spoke at the event.
Many of these speakers at the Austin event pointedly described state lawmakers’ dithering on gun-control laws and called for reforms, like a ban on assault-style weapons and bolstering the background-check process.
“Now there is not one solution that will prevent mass shootings,” Adler said at one point, “but there are common sense solutions most people can agree upon.”
Alder suggested people on airlines’ “no-fly” lists should be banned from purchasing guns and said, “if you can’t buy a gun in a gun store, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun at a gun show.”
Jack Haimowitz, a future UT business student who survived the Parkland massacre, was among the first student speakers Saturday afternoon, his hair dyed bright blond in honor of a friend he lost in the shooting.
Other student speakers included UT student organizer Selina Eshraghi, and Conor Heffernan, a high school senior from Austin’s Liberal Arts and Science Academy.
“On Feb. 14, I was shown the darkness with which our world has been permeated and tainted,” Haimowitz said. “I stand before you right here, right now to say we are the change we never knew we needed and that we have found the strength we never knew we were looking for.”