On 14 February, 17 people died in Florida following the “deadliest shooting at a US school since 2012”. As The Canary previously reported, young survivors sent an unequivocal message to Donald Trump. They criticised his response to the tragedy and demanded a review of gun laws in the US.
A week on, thousands of young people across the country have joined the protest. And they are not backing down.
“Watch out NRA”
On 19 February, students from the DC area staged a protest outside the White House.
There is a growing sense that the Florida tragedy has “awakened something” powerful in young people:
Kids today are so entitled that they don't even want to be massacred at school. Watch out, NRA, you've awakened something you can't stop. https://t.co/oZ5tiYPihk
— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) February 19, 2018
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It’s now a call that’s being heard all across the country. And it’s just beginning. The goal is simple: Pressure Republicans to stop blocking gun safety legislation and to break the NRA’s grip on common-sense solutions to gun violence.
The protests are growing nationwide. On 14 March, there are plans for a mass school walkout. The message is clear. Young people have had enough:
— Youth Empower (@WomensMarchY) February 18, 2018
My message to every high school kids in America:
I was in high school during Columbine. If we had fought for change then, you wouldn't have had to suffer now. I'm sorry. Keep fighting. Keep fighting. Keep fighting. Don't give up.
Do what we couldn't. Lead.✊🏾#MarchForOurLives
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) February 19, 2018
Support is gathering, and there is a growing sense of solidarity across the US:
— Youth Empower (@WomensMarchY) February 19, 2018
“…against the children”?
David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez both survived the Florida shooting. And since the event, their eloquent passion has empowered thousands in the US. On 19 February, as the first victim was buried and Trump played golf, Hogg said:
This is atrocious, golf over children's blood?!?! What does that say about our future. You are either for or against the children and right now your against them. This is why we must take action because these politicians won't. @realDonaldTrump https://t.co/fCwq7xK2bK
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) February 19, 2018
Gonzalez is also a powerful advocate for change. At a rally over the weekend, she gave a powerful speech at an anti-gun rally:
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 18, 2018
In direct challenge to Trump, politicians and the National Rifle Association (NRA), Gonzalez said:
If they accept this blood money, they are against the children. They are against the people who are dying. There’s no other way to put it at this point. You’re either funding the killers, or you’re standing with the children. The children who have no money. We don’t have jobs. So we can’t pay for your campaign. We would hope that you have the decent morality to support us at this point.
Change is coming…
The voices of Gonzalez, Hogg and the thousands who stand with them will not go away. Mass school walkouts have already started.
WATCH: Students from Florida's West Boca High School have walked out of their classes, heading towards Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as part of a call-to-action by students in the area after the mass shooting last week that killed 17 people https://t.co/JoGj3r547e pic.twitter.com/yqeNwj9PVM
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 20, 2018
The message from these young people is clear. Through them, perhaps change will finally come. Perhaps they have started a long-needed revolution in the US. Because any alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.
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