'Never again' chanted Washington
March For Our Lives on 24th March 2018 saw teenagers, survivors, students and celebrities unite on the streets of Washington for the Never Again movement, demanding a reform on gun laws after three of the deadliest shootings in modern American history took place in the last six months.
Spearheaded by survivors of the Parkland massacre in Florida on February 14th, which resulted in 17 high school students being killed and 17 more injured when Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, March for Our Lives was a rallying cry from the teenagers of the US who are saying, ‘Enough.’
The day was marked with performances from Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus, as well as speeches from Amy Schumer. On the streets, George Clooney, Paul McCartney and Kim Kardashian joined the crowds marching for change. But it was the young people of America, from Parkland survivors to nine-year-old Yolanda Renee King, granddaughter of Martin Luther King who made the world sit up and listen.
Best March For Our Lives quotes:
‘We need to arm our teachers. We need to arm our teachers with paper, pens and the money they need to support themselves and their families, and the futures that sit in their classrooms. We are done hiding. We are done being full of fear. This is the beginning of the end. From here, we fight.’ Ryan Deitsch, Parkland senior
Following a silence of 6 minutes and 20 seconds, to symbolise the amount of time it took gunman Nikolas Cruz to kill 17 people, Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez said: ‘Since the time that I came out here, it has been six minutes and 20 seconds. The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.’ Emma Gonzalez, 17-year-old Parkland student and survivor who became an icon of the Never Again movement after her moving, impassioned speech in the days following the shooting.
‘My grandfather had a dream that his four little children will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but the content of their character. I have a dream, that enough is enough. And that this should be a gun-free world. Period.’ Yolanda Renee King, nine-year-old granddaughter of Martin Luther King.
‘I am here to acknowledge and represent the African American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don’t lead on the evening news. I represent the African American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential. For far too long, these names, these black girls and women, have just been numbers. I’m here to say “Never again” for those girls too.’ Naomi Wadler, 11-year-old activist from Virginia
‘I have been waiting so long for something like this to happen. This is just incredible. These children have achieved more in a month than us adults have done in years. It’s time for change. It’s beyond time.’ Joanna Gates, a 35-year-old art teacher who, 19 years ago, survived the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado in 1999
‘We need to see real action from lawmakers. They have to actually mean it, take meaningful steps to save children’s lives.’ David Hogg, 17-year-old Parkland survivor
‘This march is just the beginning of a movement that will last a very long time. We understand that this is a marathon and that we’ll be fighting for years. We’re just getting started, now we have to use out rights as voters to make things change. Politicians will see that we aren’t going away.’ Rebecca Schneid, 16, a survivor of the Parkland shooting.
‘How do they [the NRA] sleep at night? You are killing children and you call people like me Hollywood liberals, like there’s something in it for us. Well, what’s in it for us is knowing we’re doing our part to keep our children alive.’ Amy Schumer
‘Thank you for being here. I love you all so much. Never again. You guys are so incredible and I just count myself lucky to be in the presence of all you wonderful people, fighting for what’s right.’ Miley Cyrus
‘One of my best friends was killed by gun violence right around here,’ Paul McCartney on his Beatles’ bandmate John Lennon.