During the rally, called “March for Our Lives”, the students from Washington to Los Angeles to Parkland vowed to power a “new generation of political activism” against the gun violence.
Representing the African-American women and girls who have been victims of gun violence, 11-year-old Naomi captivated the protesters as she declared “never again!”
“People have said that I am too young to have these thoughts on my own. They have said that I am a tool of some nameless adult. It’s not true. My friends and I might still be 11, and we might still be in elementary school, but we know,” said anguished Naomi.
“We are done hiding, we are done being full of fear. This is the beginning of the end. From here, we fight,” said Ryan Deitsch, a student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Edna Chavez, a 17-year-old high school senior from Los Angeles, who had lost her brother to gun violence said, “He was in high school when he passed away. It was a day like any other day. Sunset down on South Central. You hear pops, thinking they’re fireworks,” she said.
“Ricardo was his name. Can you all say it with me?” she asked. The crowd shouted his name as Chavez smiled through tears.
The rally was aimed to press the US Congress to tighten the country’s notoriously slack firearm laws, which have made gun shootings a regular part of Americans' lives.
While the White House praised the students for exercising their right to free speech, President Donald Trump remained silent and didn’t utter a single word, neither tweeted.
However, the rally “inspired” former US President Barack Obama and asked young students to “keep leading the US forward.”
“Michelle and I are so inspired by all the young people who made today’s marches happen. Keep at it. You’re leading us forward,” Obama tweeted.