The March For Our Lives

Students Call For Action

Elizabeth Cherinka, Contributing Writer

The March For Our Lives rally took place all across the globe on March 24th.  The march is a student led demonstration fighting for gun control. Thousands of people marched alongside Parkland survivors in a fight against gun violence.  

Due to recent school shootings involving 17 deaths in 6 minutes due to an AR-15, students decided they need change.  Victims of gun violence and survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting organized the March For Our Lives.  

There were around 800 marches across the United States, including the main event in Washington D.C.  There were even events in London, Tokyo, Sydney, and Mumbai. Around 800,000 people were in attendance of the march in Washington D.C. which makes history as one of the largest student held rallies since the Vietnam War.

Parkland survivors and gun violence victims spoke at rally as well as performers. Andra Day, Common, Demi Lovato, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Platt, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Vic Mensa, Stoneman Douglas Drama Club and Jennifer Hudson all performed at the march.  Paul McCartney marched in New York City in memory of John Lennon and Kim Kardashian went to Washington D.C. with her husband Kanye West and her daughter North West. 

Speakers at the event in Washington D.C. include Trevon Bosley, Edna Chavez and Zion Kelly whose siblings were shot an killed due to gun violence.  

Naomi Wilder, an 11 year old from Alexandria, spoke out about discrimination.  She stated that women of color don’t get recognized when they are victims of gun violence.  She is working to put and end to that, even as a child.

Martin Luther King’s 9 year old granddaughter went on stage with her own speech and called for a “gun free world, period.”  

Samantha Fuentes, an injured Parkland survivor, got on stage and recited her own poem.  She threw up mid speech and said “it felt great.”  At the end of her speech she recognized her friend Nick Dworet who was shot and killed in front of her.  The day of the march was the day he would have turned 18 so she called for the audience to sing happy birthday to him.

The most memorable speech in D.C. was Emma Gonzales’.  Emma Gonzalez is an American activist and advocate for gun control. As a senior, she survived the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and as a response has formed the gun-control advocacy group Never Again MSD.  She drew national attention when her speech at a rally went viral. In the speech she said “we call B.S. on the lack of action by politicians funded by the NRA”.

At the March For Our Lives, Emma started her speech by saying “in a little over 6 minutes, 17 were killed, 15 were injured, and everyone, everyone in the Douglas community was forever altered.” She went on to say “for those who can’t comprehend [the shooting] because they refuse to, let me tell you where it went. Right into the ground, 6 feet deep.”

Emma listed all the people who died and things they would never be able to do ever again and then she stopped.  No one really knew at the time why she stopped but the silence was surreal. Over 800,000 people were silent. Almost 4 minutes later, a timer went off and she continued.  6 minutes and 20 seconds since she got on stage had passed. In that time, 17 of her peers had died. The moment of silence was awe-inspiring. At the end of the march, all of the speakers gathered on stage to say some final words. 

Students from around the country gathered to see this amazing event.  They went with posters and banners calling for a change.

Scranton Prep took 3 buses filled with teachers, students, and friends to D.C.  Studentsfrom Wyoming Valley West also attended the march in Scranton.

Sarah Lechak says her favorite thing about the march in Scranton was seeing members of the northeastern PA community come together to fight for a common goal.”  

Katie Luska says her favorite thing about the march in Scranton was “being able to see all of the support a group of students could gather. People of all ages were in attendance and I really enjoyed being able to see activists from all backgrounds and walks of life supporting safety in our learning environments.”  She also says “there are many ways to change the world, but a March and being able to show that we want change is important. The changes all of us want to see include ways to make our schools safer and keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.”

Students around America continue to fight for a common goal and the march is just the beginning.