Saturday, Mar. 24, thousands of individuals gathered around the country to participate in the nation-wide movement, “March for Our Lives.” The protest was lead by the survivors of the Parkland, Fla. shooting and was put together just five weeks after the tragic event occurred. According to the official “March for Our Lives” Instagram account, over 850,000 demonstrators attended in Washington DC where the main march took place. Sophomore Yashi Phougat and junior Laura Stancato had the opportunity to travel to our nation’s capital and take part in the demand against gun-violence.
“This movement is about us,” Phougat said. “Young people, taking on our politicians and begging them to put our lives over their money.”
The main march was funded by Oprah Winfrey, George and Amal Clooney, and other celebrities in support of the movement. However, the spotlight of the event was focused on the students that were impacted by the school shooting committed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.
“This march inspired me to speak out for what I believe in, ” Stancato said. “I saw courage and bravery in the young people that stood on stage before me, who showed me that our young voices matter and it’s up to us to be the change we want to see in the world.”
Sister marches took place across the country, and even the world, in support of the main march in Washington D.C. Students marched in downtown Indy amid snowy conditions and listened to Senator Joe Donnelly speak on the issue. Many of the students that attended marches were urged to register to vote, as the next Congressional and Senate election will take place this November.
An emphasis on voting was highlighted in D.C., as the Parkland student speakers urged the crowd to vote out candidates that receive money from the National Rifle Association and do not support stricter gun controls to protect schools.
“I think it’s very important that anyone who will be 18 before the November election is registered to vote,” Stancato said. “We young people need to prove that our voices matter by voting out politicians who aren’t doing enough to ensure safety in our schools.”
Our young generation is outspoken, it is one calling for change, it is one that will not let their screams be silenced, it is one that won’t let students of the future be in danger.