Students in the U.S. said “enough” to gun violence, one month after a shooting massacre at a Florida high school. Thousands across the country walked out of classes to remember victims of violence, while also demanding change.
CGTN’s Nitza Soledad Perez reports from Parkland, Florida.
For seventeen minutes, waves of students across the nation walked out of their classrooms. One minute for each victim killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
But the students did more than just remember the victims.
“We will accept nothing less than comprehensive gun control,” one told a cheering crowd in the front of the White House.
— Rosie Posie 🌹 (@caledonia_rose) March 14, 2018
Student outrage and activism has been building since February 14th, when a former student walked into the freshman building of the southern Florida high school and opened fire. At Stoneman Douglas, students have harnessed their grief to fuel calls for gun reform.
And they’ve seen results.
Florida’s governor signed a new bill into law last week that – among other provisions – raises the minimum age to purchase all firearms from 18 to 21. This prompted the powerful gun lobby organization the National Rifle Association to file a lawsuit against the state, saying the higher age requirement violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Crestwood High School Student Movement today. Video filming and editing credit to Senior Mason Hinawi. https://t.co/TpIISPKOKu
— Crestwood Activities (@CrestwoodActivi) March 14, 2018
The new law also provides a path for arming some teachers, if local police and school officials decide to do so.
For many young activists, the new legislation does do nearly enough.
“I want to see more change, where rifles are completely banned from schools, Stoneman Douglas student Sachi Modi said.
In powerful demonstration, rows of Fresno High students sit or lie down as the names of the 17 Florida victims are read allowed following a single beat of a drum. #NationalWalkoutDay California #Enough walkout pic.twitter.com/OEAjx89qbK
— Mackenzie Mays (@MackenzieMays) March 14, 2018
After the 17 minutes was over, many students continued their rally at a nearby park. Their anger and activism seemed not to fade away, but instead grow stronger by the minute.
“I can’t deal with the fact that my family, all of us who came to America to be safe, that we might still be in danger,” a tearful student exclaimed. “That our government is doing nothing, and I can’t deal with that. I refuse to deal with that. None of us should deal with that.”