In pics: Thousands join March for Our Lives gun control protests around the world
Hundreds of thousands of teenagers and their supporters rallied against gun violence, vowing to transform fear and grief into a “vote-them-out” movement and tougher laws against weapons and ammo.world Updated: Mar 25, 2018 08:47 IST
Calls for greater gun control in the US came from across the world on Saturday as demonstrators in different countries demanded that the US government “protects children, not guns!”
In the US, hundreds of thousands of teenagers and their supporters rallied across the country against gun violence, vowing to transform fear and grief into a “vote-them-out” movement and tougher laws against weapons and ammo.
The protesters were called to action by a brand-new corps of leaders: student survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead February 14.
Emma Gonzalez, one of the first students from Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to speak out after the tragedy there, implored those of voting age to vote.
In her speech, she recited the names of the Parkland dead, then held the crowd in rapt, tearful silence for more than six minutes, the time it took the gunman to kill them.
Student protesters called for a ban on high-capacity magazines and assault-type weapons like the one used by the killer in Parkland, comprehensive background checks, and a higher minimum age to buy guns.
By all appearances — there were no official numbers — Washington’s March for Our Lives rally rivalled the women’s march last year that drew far more than the predicted 300,000.
Paul McCartney, Common, Miley Cyrus, Amy Schumer, Ben Platt, Ariana Grande and other stars played supporting roles at nationwide gun-reform rallies.
The appeals for stricter gun regulations have drawn the backing of Democratic lawmakers. A series of American celebrities have pledged $500,000 donations to support the protests.
March for our lives rallies were also held as far afield as London, Mauritius, Stockholm and Sydney.
Organisers said more than 800 marches were held across the country and around the world under the slogan #NeverAgain.
Although the Florida mass shooting triggered the movement, it has embraced the entire problem of gun violence in a nation that sees more than 30,000 gun-related deaths a year.
Conscious of their growing political power, March For Our Lives organisers provided a link on their website for supporters to register to vote.
They have called on supporters to vote against lawmakers who receive money from the NRA.