Tears rolled down Emma Gonzalez’s face as she stood in silence.
Gonzalez had begun timing six minutes and 20 seconds — the time it took a gunman to kill 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where she is a student. For more than four of those minutes, she stopped speaking as a crowd of hundreds of thousands looked on.
“Never again!” chants rang as Gonzalez stood at the podium. “Everyone in the Douglas community was forever altered,” Gonzalez said earlier in her speech, naming each of the students killed in the mass shooting.
Stephanie Dobyns, a survivor of the mass shooting last fall in Las Vegas, spoke at the March for Our Lives rally Saturday at Las Vegas City Hall. She described how she went to buy a bulletproof vest from a store in Texas, and explained to the salesclerk that she wanted it to protect her while she spoke at the gun-control march.
“Do you know what he said?” Dobyns asked.
“What did he say?” a lone voice yelled from the crowd. She paused again.
"Welcome to the revolution," Cameron Kasky, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, told the crowd in Washington. "We are the change .… Represent us or get out."
Kasky was among a number of students from the school in Parkland, Fla., to speak to the hundreds of thousands of marchers who gathered on Pennsylvania Avenue near the base of Capitol Hill on Saturday to protest U.S. gun laws with chants of “Vote them out!”
He and other Stoneman Douglas students said their goal is a new ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The AR-15, the semiautomatic rifle used to kill 17 people at the high school, is one of the most popular guns on the market and has been used in a series of mass shootings.
Naomi Wadler has worked to raise awareness of the African American girls and women who have been victims of gun violence but overlooked in the national conversation.
“I am here today to acknowledge and represent the African American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper,” said Naomi, 11, at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C.
Naomi helped organize a walkout at George Mason Elementary School in Alexandria, Va., on March 14 in protest of gun violence.
Signs are an integral part of any protest, and the March for Our Lives is no different.
Some placards in Los Angeles focused on the National Rifle Assn. Near 5th and Spring streets, a group of students held a long sign that read, “NRA has blood on its hands,” marked with red handprints. They weren’t the only ones to carry that sign.
Giselle Jimenez, 17, of Alexander Hamilton High School, held a sign in downtown L.A. that read, “Silly me, I didn’t know that not wanting kids to be slaughtered by assault rifles was being political.”