Multiple rallies against gun violence were held in Washington, New York, and dozens of other US cities on Saturday, with activists piling on pressure on lawmakers to tighten gun control laws in the wake of several deadly mass shootings.
The largest ‘March for Our Lives’ protest was held at the Washington Monument in DC, even though the estimated crowd of 30,000 was smaller than the organizers expected to gather following two high-profile shootings that shook the nation last month.
The DC event featured multiple high-profile speakers, activists and mass shooting and other gun violence survivors, who were pleading with US lawmakers to do their job and protect American children.
“If our government can’t do anything to stop 19 kids from being killed and slaughtered in their own school, and decapitated, it’s time to change who is in government,” said David Hogg, a survivor of the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The father of another Parkland victim called on students to boycott schools “until our elected leaders stop avoiding the crisis of gun violence in America and start acting to save our lives.”
And while Martin Luther King Jr’s granddaughter said in DC that the issue of gun violence “isn’t about politics,” US President Joe Biden sent a seemingly opposite message from California, encouraging the activists to “keep marching” until the opponents of stricter gun controls are voted out.
In New York City, protesters marched over the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan’s City Hall, numbering in ‘hundreds’ or ‘more than 1,000’, according to various media estimates.
The ‘March for Our Lives’ organizers said they were focused on holding numerous smaller marches in at least 300 locations all across the nation, rather than trying to beat the record attendance numbers of their 2018 protest.