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Hundreds Of Thousands Turned Out To Protest Gun Violence At The March For Our Lives

The rallies — inspired by the students who survived the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida — drew hundreds of thousands of people in cities across the US.

Last updated on March 24, 2018, at 11:49 p.m. ET

Posted on March 24, 2018, at 7:01 a.m. ET

A couple embraces during a March for Our Lives rally in Los Angeles Saturday.
Mark Ralston/AFP

A couple embraces during a March for Our Lives rally in Los Angeles Saturday.

What We Know So Far

  • People across the US and around the world held mass demonstrations Saturday to protest gun violence in the wake of a spate of school shootings. The event was called the March for Our Lives.

  • The main event, in Washington, DC, was inspired by the teen leaders of the Never Again movement, who survived the school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14.

  • Yet amid this groundswell, it seems like there is little to no political will to change any gun laws in the US. A spending bill passed Friday includes funding for some modest gun control measures, such as incentivizing states to contribute to the federal background check registry, and allows the CDC to research gun violence. But nothing else is on the table.

  • Trump arrived at his Florida golf course as the US marches began. One demonstration passed near his Mar-a-Lago resort, forcing the president's motorcade to change its route.

  • BuzzFeed News reported from marches in Washington, DC, London, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, Houston, Phoenix, Helena, Montana, and Parkland, Florida.

  • These are some of the most moving moments from the rallies.

Protesters flood Pennsylvania Avenue during the March for Our Lives in Washington, DC.
Eric Thayer / Reuters

Protesters flood Pennsylvania Avenue during the March for Our Lives in Washington, DC.

Updates

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Hundreds of veterans showed up at March for Our Lives rallies with a message for students: "We've got your back"

Vera Bergengruen / BuzzFeed News

The young students who rallied massive crowds in protest of gun violence across the country on Saturday found a seemingly unlikely ally in hundreds of military veterans who showed up to support them and their cause.

Several veterans told BuzzFeed News they were bothered by criticism of the high school shooting survivors as “un-American” or unpatriotic for their fervent activism for tighter gun regulations.

“We wanted them to know that we’ve got their back,” said Kyle Hausmann-Stokes, a US Army combat veteran who joined the march in Los Angeles. “We want them to know you’re not being disrespectful, and we’re with you. Honestly, I’m so inspired by these kids."

Through a group that initially began as a social media hashtag #VetsForGunReform, hundreds of military veterans joined the March for Our Lives rallies in dozens of cities. The contingent in Washington, DC, was made up of more than 300 people, according to organizers. Dozens of them, many wearing #VetsForGunReform T-shirts, gathered and held signs by the US Navy memorial on Saturday morning.

“We all volunteered to go into harm’s way and fight wars, understanding the dangers,” said Kyleanne Hunter, a 40-year-old Marine Corps veteran who served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, gesturing to the veterans standing around her. “These kids just went to school.”

Read the rest here.

—Vera Bergengruen

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The Never Again teens made a huge push to register new voters at March for Our Lives protests

Blake Montgomery / BuzzFeed News

Teens who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida — and who organized Saturday's March for Our Lives rally — have started a forceful push to register new voters as part of a long-term strategy to bring about changes in US gun laws.

“The next steps for our movement are voter education, voter registration, and making sure people our age vote," Cameron Kasky, a Stoneman Douglas student and a leader of the Never Again movement, told BuzzFeed News at the march in Washington, DC.

"The 18-to-25 [age] demographic, they had a 1-in-5 voter turnout [rate] for the last election," Kasky said. "That’s embarrassing. If we can get more people our age voting, the steam will just pick up. Our politicians won’t be able to run away from the future.”

Never Again leaders also announced a formal partnership with HeadCount, a nonpartisan group backed by Rock the Vote that registers voters at musical events. That organization said more than 1,000 people volunteered to register voters at 30 March for Our Lives protests across the country.

Read more here.

—Caroline O'Donovan

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An 11-year-old gave an impassioned speech for "African-American girls whose stories don't make the front page"

Naomi Wadler, a fifth-grade student in Alexandria, Virginia, took the stage at Saturday's March for Our Lives and gave an impassioned speech standing up for the black girls and women who have been victims of gun violence.

Addressing the crowd, Wadler said she was there to represent "African-American girls whose stories don't make the front page of every national newspaper."

"I am here today to represent Courtlin Arrington. I am here today to represent Hadiya Pendleton. I am here today to represent Tiana Thompson, who at 16, was shot dead at her home in Washington, DC," said Wadler.

"I represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics, instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential," she continued.

Read more about Wadler and her speech here.

—Julia Reinstein

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Tens of thousands of people turned out for marches in New York, Los Angeles, and several other US cities

A large crowd gathers at the 'March For Our Lives' rally in Los Angeles.
Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images

A large crowd gathers at the 'March For Our Lives' rally in Los Angeles.

More than a million people showed up at March for Our Lives rallies across the country Saturday, according to crowd estimates from local officials and organizers in several cities.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that an estimated 175,000 people attended the march, which began in Central Park before moving through Midtown Manhattan.

Amazing! Final NYC tally: 175,000 joined #MarchForOurLives. And this is a movement that has JUST BEGUN. These students WILL change America!

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti estimated that more than 55,000 people turned out for the city's march, one of several that took place in California Saturday.

Organizers for San Francisco's march estimated that at least 45,000 people showed up for the city's protest. Rallies in Oakland, San Diego, and San Bernardino also drew hundreds of protesters, according to local media reports.

55,000+ people joined #MarchForOurLivesLA today: our students — and the parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers, teachers and principals coming together to support and walk with our young people. #MarchForOurLives https://t.co/p7oOIwkhnw

By far the largest protest took place in Washington, DC, where hundreds of thousands of people converged for the main March for Our Lives rally, featuring several teen survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Organizers estimated that 800,000 people attended the rally, making it one of the largest in the city's history. A spokesperson for the National Parks Service declined to give an official tally, however, citing "the difficulty in accurately assessing crowd estimates for large events."

Marches in other cities drew massive crowds, in some cases exceeding official turnout expectations. In Boston, police estimated that 50,000 people participated in the city's march, according to a statement provided to the Boston Globe. In Atlanta, police estimated the crowd numbered about 30,000.

In Austin, organizers told BuzzFeed News that 20,000 people showed up for the Saturday's march, making it the largest of several rallies held in Texas. Another 15,000 marched in Houston, according to an official tally from police there.

In St. Paul, police estimated that 18,000 people showed up near the Minnesota state capitol to protest gun violence. Meanwhile, a rally near Arizona's capitol building in Phoenix drew about 15,000 people, according to the state's Department of Public Safety.

We have an estimated crowd count of 15,000. There have not been any arrests or civil disruption incidents at the Capitol today. https://t.co/pQfvOFbFQE

In Florida, local media reported that 25,000 people attended a march in Orlando, with another 13,000 attending a protest in Tampa.

And in Parkland — a city of 35,500 — a crowd of 20,000 people, according to an AP estimate, marched past the high school where 17 teachers and students were gunned down in last month's deadly shooting.

—Grace Wyler

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The New England Patriots loaned their jet to students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas to fly to the March for Our Lives rally in DC

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and their families boarding the @Patriots plane from #FLL to attend the #MarchForOurLives rally in Washington, DC this weekend. #MSDStrong https://t.co/Ja0HwMEwfS

The New England Patriots loaned their jet to the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (and their families) so they could fly from Fort Lauderdale to the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, DC.

The students, who have led a nationwide movement calling for gun control legislation after a mass shooting in their school left 17 people dead, were contacted by the football team's owner, Robert Kraft, one of the parents told ABC News.

The students flew out to DC Thursday to join thousands of others in the march.

Meredith Barry told ABC News her daughter, Isabela, hid in a closet during the Valentine's Day shooting.

Barry also posted pictures from inside the plane, including an image of a note that was signed by Kraft addressed to the students and their relatives onboard.

"On behalf of the New England Patriots organization, I want to express our support as you travel to Washington for this weekend's March for Our lives," the letter read. "In the wake of incredible tragedy, we have hurt for you, mourned with you and been inspired by you. It is an honor for us to now partner with you as you push for progress."

According to the pictures, there was also some team swag waiting for the students on their seats, including caps and blankets with the team logo.

The New England Patriots did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' requests for comment.

—Salvador Hernandez

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Survivors of the Columbine High School shooting joined marchers in Denver

Tom Mauser speaks to a March for Our Lives rally in Denver.
Andy Cross / Getty Images

Tom Mauser speaks to a March for Our Lives rally in Denver.

Survivors and relatives of the 13 people killed in the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School shooting were among the thousands of demonstrators who took part in the March for Our Lives rally in Denver.

The Colorado massacre was the first high-profile mass shooting in a US high school, one that perpetrators of school shootings have at times pointed to in confessions or letters left behind as a sort of macabre inspiration.

Tom Mauser, whose son Daniel was killed in the 1999 shooting, spoke to a crowd of thousands as they marched toward the state capitol in Denver.

"This is your Vietnam," Mauser told the crowd, according to the Denver Post, referencing the US war that mobilized young people in the '60s and '70s.

Kalli Honeycutt, a 16-year-old who attends Columbine High School, where her mother survived the deadly shooting, told the Associated Press her mother has always told her to be on the lookout.

She said she was demonstrating today to send a message to lawmakers to restrict guns and prevent school shootings.

—Salvador Hernandez

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A woman marched with a picture of her friend who was killed in the Las Vegas mass shooting

I also spoke with two women who were affected by the Vegas shooting Tiffany Briggantino lost her friend Lisa Patterson, who had 3 kids. She’s a single mom and says she believes in owning a gun, but there needs to be an assault-weapons ban. “When is this going to stop?” https://t.co/4JJjxVPIAG

Tiffany Briggantino said she and Lisa Patterson became friends when their kids began attending the same school.

On Oct. 1, Patterson was one of 58 people killed at a mass shooting in Las Vegas.

"She has three kids, she was a great mother and just for her to go to a concert and be gone and not come home to her kids is just crazy," she said.

She said she believes that people have the right to own guns for protection, but that there are some weapons that are not needed for self-defense or hunting. "As a single mom, if I want to have protection in my home that's fine," she said.

Marching in Los Angeles Saturday, Briggantino carried a sign with Patterson's picture, and said explaining the shooting to her own daughter was the most difficult thing she's had to do.

"She just kept asking me why; why did this happen, why did he do it?" she said. "And you just can't explain it. It's just a bad gun. And these guns are terrible."

—Brianna Sacks and Salvador Hernandez

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Satellite images show the massive crowd at the March for Our Lives rally in DC

Satellite Image ©2018 DigitalGlobe.

Satellite images taken over Washington, DC, Saturday morning show the massive size of the crowd gathered for the main March for Our Lives rally, one of several marches taking place across the country to protest gun violence.

The photos, taken by Digital Globe, show throngs of people marching down Pennsylvania Avenue, a road that connects the Capitol Building to the White House.

Though official crowd size tallies have not yet been released, organizers estimated Saturday that 800,000 people showed up for the DC march. Marches in other cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and Houston, also saw crowds numbering in the tens of thousands.

A close-up aerial image of the March for Our Lives crowd in Washington, DC.
Satellite Image ©2018 DigitalGlobe.

A close-up aerial image of the March for Our Lives crowd in Washington, DC.

—Grace Wyler

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This protester marched in support of gun control after she survived the Las Vegas mass shooting

BuzzFeed News

KC Napper was backstage working at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas when she heard the sound of gunshots — 58 people died in the Oct. 1 mass shooting.

"I did run for my life, and I never experienced anything like this before," she told BuzzFeed News at the March for Our Lives rally in Los Angeles Saturday. "Hopefully I'll never have to, but this day and age, who knows."

Napper was one of thousands of marchers in Los Angeles; she wore a white T-shirt that read "SURVIVOR" in all capital letters.

She still suffers from post-traumatic stress, she said, which has also impacted her professionally since she works at concerts, festivals, and other events.

"I struggle with it daily and constantly cry about it," she said.

Seeing more shootings occur after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, she said, has impacted her emotionally, especially after students were gunned down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Florida.

"The Parkland shooting really hit me hard. Most of us were adults," she said, referring to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting.

She said she hopes that the thousands of people marching on the streets might catch the attention of lawmakers and prompt gun control legislation.

"I hope that the government will see this turnout in all these cities," she said, "and realize that people really want change."

—Brianna Sacks and Salvador Hernandez

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People left protest signs outside of Trump International Hotel

As the March for Our Lives wound down, people ditched their protest signs right outside of Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.

After #MarchForOurLives, hundreds of people left their signs outside of Trump International Hotel.

Via Twitter: @ReporterBlayne

Passersby referred jokingly to the detritus as the “sign graveyard.”

Sign graveyard at Trump International Hotel #MarchForOurLives

But not everyone loitering outside of the hotel left signs objecting to gun violence. There were also a handful of counterprotesters present who were in favor of gun rights.

Lots of marchers are trolling Trump by taking photos outside his hotel with their signs. These guys are counter-protesting in favor of gun rights https://t.co/3iQz4eWJJU

“Keep your hands off my guns,” read one sign held by a counterprotester, in big, bold letters. “Gun grabbers only care about lives when a gun is involved,” read another.

Davey Alba

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Politicans and students take to the streets in LA

The March for Our Lives rally in Los Angeles drew politicians, young activists, and older veterans against gun violence.

BuzzFeed News caught up with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who thanked the Parkland students "for providing more leadership from your high school than we're seeing in the corridors of Washington and the White House."

"To the Parkland students, thank you for providing more leadership from your high school than we're seeing in the corridors of Washington and the White House." Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti offered support for students at #MarchForOurLives in LA. https://t.co/T0K2faC0cR

“It was important for me to be here to let people know this is their city, and these are their lives, and I care about them,” said Garcetti. “And then to get out of the way. Because I think politicians should listen to these young people.”

And 10-year-old Zoey Burney proudly held up a homemade protest sign, which she said she drew by herself. “A school day shouldn’t be my last day,” it read. “It’s a cause that needs to be put into action,” Burney told BuzzFeed News. “This is a march worth fighting for.”

Zoey Burney is 10-years-old. She said she made the sign all by herself and is here because “this is a march worh fighting for” https://t.co/ILYDNqaUz8

And this 15-year-old said she had her first active shooter drill at her school last month:

15-year-old Brooke Steele went through her first school shooting drill last month and talks about what it’s like having your teacher tell you how to run and avoid a sniper shooting at you https://t.co/NyEelF9wDc

Supermodel Kendall Jenner posed for a photo with teens from Parkland.

Parkland survivors and teens with @KendallJenner at #MarchForOurLivesLA

Russell Acosta, a veteran who said he was against guns, said he “loved” the student-led movement against violence. “I don’t like to see our kids being killed,” he said, getting choked up.

A lot of students said they preregistered to vote:

Olivia Dutcher, 17, is one of the students who organized the #marchforourlives Los Angeles about the push to pre-register to vote. “Once we turn 18, we’re coming for it,” she laughs https://t.co/n5kxINKpWX

I spoke with about 10 teens who recently registered or pre-registered to vote, either here at the #MarchForOurLivesLA or at their schools. They say the movement has galvanized their friends to get politically involved and many are sharing the links across social media https://t.co/fGqZZeez3o

—Brianna Sacks

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This 23-year-old lost her brother in Chicago to a gun crime last year. Her "march sign" was a photo of him smiling in the city they grew up in.

Tanya Chen / BuzzFeed News

Jenesis Scullark marched with her fellow Chicagoans Saturday in an area not too far from where she and her brother Jeremy, who would now be 28, grew up.

Gun violence in her hometown has been a perpetual problem and conversation for as long as she's been alive, but the issue became personal for Jenesis on April 19, 2017. Jeremy was on his way home, about to have dinner with his family, when he was "randomly...robbed in 5 p.m. traffic" and shot 10 times, she told BuzzFeed News.

Jenesis showed up to Chicago's March for Our Lives with simply a photo of her late brother Jeremy. "I'm here because I want people to know what happened to my brother. I'm also here because I want youth and students and the younger generation — we're the victims of this. We're the ones who need to stand up. And come together," she said.

"Chicago is an amazing city. It's just so drowned by the violence," she added.

Jenesis is asking for tighter gun vetting and for lawmakers to not make guns "so accessible."

"It's so sad my mom can work so hard and make sure we're OK...and someone can come in and trample on that," she said.

Tanya Chen

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Trump went to Mar-a-Lago this weekend and March for Our Lives protesters showed up outside

President Donald Trump arrives at West Palm Beach, Florida, before heading to Mar-a-Lago for the weekend on March 23, 2018.
Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

President Donald Trump arrives at West Palm Beach, Florida, before heading to Mar-a-Lago for the weekend on March 23, 2018.

As hundreds of thousands of people around the US demonstrated against gun violence during the March for Our Lives rallies, President Trump spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and at his nearby golf course.

So protesters in West Palm Beach went to him, getting as close as they could to the so-called Winter White House.

It is reportedly Trump's 135th day at a Trump property as president.

Rosalind Adams and Davey Alba

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Pro-gun protest in Phoenix clashes with March for Our Lives

In Phoenix, Arizona, two marches — thousands of attendees at the March for Our Lives protest and a much smaller pro-gun counterprotest — argued over gun control and school shootings.

"I don't think that knee-jerk reactions and more laws are going to be effective," said a counterprotester wearing an American flag banner.

Counterprotesters carried American flags and the "Don't Tread on Me" flag.

"Criminals who are going out and committing murder are going to go and get weapons on the street just like they procure drugs and other illegal items," added the counterprotester.

"Taking guns away from law-abiding citizens isn't going to stop criminals from getting guns," he said.

He applauded the school resource officer who responded to the school shooting at Great Mills High School in Maryland on Tuesday, where a 16-year-old girl was fatally shot in the head and a 14-year-old shot in the leg. The shooter died in a confrontation with an armed school resource officer.

Another counterprotestor — who was carrying a rifle on his chest, as allowed under Arizona's open carry laws — said he wanted armed police or homeless veterans used in schools to help increase security.

A female counterprotester slammed the March for Our Lives movement as not being what it claims to be.

"This, what we're seeing right now, is a well-orchestrated, highly funded, put-together, knee-jerk emotional reaction by the left," she said. "Gun laws will not stop shootings in school."

To help curb school shootings, she suggested veterans be used as armed guards and having tighter security, as well as changing the backpacks students carry.

"Clear backpacks. ... No backpacks — kids don't have a backpack, it's pretty hard to sneak an AR in, isn't it?" she asked.

"All the left needed was one good tragedy and this is what you get," she said. She said progressives had taken advantage of the Parkland children.

"This exact march was organized by the people who organized the Women's March. It wasn't organized by kids," she said.

—Claudia Koerner

"Gun laws will not stop shootings in schools." A counter-protester at #MarchForOurLives in Phoenix, Arizona, an open-carry state, says she believes shooting survivors "are being used by the left to push an agenda." https://t.co/5EbL6nLFDn

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Emma González stood silently onstage for minutes in a powerful protest

Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images

Emma González, one of the leaders of the #NeverAgain movement, stood in silence for minutes onstage at the March for Our Lives protest in Washington, DC, tears streaming down her face.

González, who has been one of the most public faces of the movement that grew out of the Parkland massacre and was an organizer of Saturday's march, first read the names of the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14.

"Six minutes and 20 seconds with an AR-15 and my friend, Carmen, would never complain to me about piano practice. Aaron Feis would never call Kyra 'Miss Sunshine.' Alex Schachter would never walk into school with his brother, Ryan. Scott Beigel would never joke around with Cameron at camp. Helena Ramsay would never hang out after school with Max. Gina Montalto would never wave to her friend Liam at lunch. Joaquin Oliver would never play basketball with Sam or Dylan. Alaina Petty would never. Cara Loughran would never. Chris Hixon would never. Luke Hoyer would never. Martin Duque Anguiano would never. Peter Wang would never. Alyssa Alhadeff would never. Jamie Guttenberg would never. Meadow Pollack would never," read González.

She then stared straight ahead and didn't speak for four minutes.

video-player.buzzfeed.com

Tears fell down her face. The crowd occasionally clapped and chanted "Emma."

Finally, a timer sounded.

"Since the time that I came out here, it has been 6 minutes and 20 seconds," said González.

The shooting in Parkland lasted that period of time.

—Amber Jamieson

Read the rest here.

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A Parkland survivor led marchers in singing "Happy Birthday" for one of her classmates who was killed

Parkland survivor Samantha Fuentes leads the DC #MarchForOurLives crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" to Nicholas Dworet, who died in the shooting. He would have been 18 today. https://t.co/6muHItTifd

In a powerful moment during the march, Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Samantha Fuentes, who was shot and injured during the attack on her school, led the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" for her classmate Nicholas Dworet, who was killed in the shooting.

"Today is March 24, March for Our Lives, but it is also the birthday of Nick Dworet, someone that was senselessly murdered in front of me," Fuentes said.

Dworet would have turned 18 on Saturday.

Julia Reinstein

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"It's important that we're here in Montana, a state full of people who love guns."

This is Francie and Bud, who drove an hour from Cascade to be here. Bud was a history teacher for 37 years; first got shot at in 1973. “I never dreamed that we’d be in our 70s and have to be marching.” https://t.co/gFJ5z82OIw

Demonstrators in Helena, Montana, are joining with hundreds of thousands across the world in the March for Our Lives.

"I never dreamed that we'd be in our 70s and have to be marching," one marcher told BuzzFeed News.

“It’s important that we’re here in Montana, a state full of people who love guns. We’re not taking about taking everyone’s guns away. We’re talking about sensible gun reform.” https://t.co/BoEWXVtAmV

“We’re not meeting here today because we’re against guns. We’re meeting here because our kids are telling us, ‘We want to be safe, and you’re not doing your jobs,’” Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins told the crowd of demonstrators.

The crowd here in Helena. “The courage of students all over the country - and here in Montana - has already had an immeasurable impact...You kids are saying something *can* be done, and I don’t think you’re going to stop until it *is* done.” https://t.co/cMoRkKtMzQ

Anne Helen Peterson

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Here are the strongest images from the March for Our Lives rallies worldwide

Demonstrators in New York City.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Demonstrators in New York City.

See more photos here.

—Laura Geiser

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Here are the powerful reasons why people joined the March for Our Lives

Mary Ann Georgantopoulos/BuzzFeed News / Via Twitter: @marygeorgant

“I should be worrying about APs and finals, not AR-15s in school.”

"Violence + Violence = No Solution."

“My kids > your gun.”

Hundreds of thousands of people traveled from all over the US to Washington, DC, to protest gun violence in schools and elsewhere in the nation. The backgrounds of March for Our Lives demonstrators included Second Amendment protestors to people who weren’t necessarily anti-gun, but believed schools were no place for guns.

We asked people to write out the powerful reasons why they joined today’s march.

Mary Ann Georgantopoulos, Ellie Hall and Davey Alba

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Miley Cyrus performs "The Climb"

Miley Cyrus performs “The Climb” at #MarchForOurLives in Washington, DC

Miley Cyrus, wearing a Marjory Stoneman Douglas sweatshirt, took the stage at the march in Washington, DC, to perform "The Climb."

The song was a favorite of Alyssa Alhadeff, a freshman who was killed at the high school last month.

Julia Reinstein

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MLK's 9-year-old granddaughter led a chant at the DC march

video-player.buzzfeed.com

Yolanda Renee King, the 9-year-old granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta King, emerged as one of the stars of the DC march on Saturday, leading the crowd in a passionate chant.

"My grandfather had a dream that his four little children will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream that enough is enough," declared King.

"And that this should be a gun-free world, period," she added.

She then led the crowd chanting: "Spread the word. Have you heard? All across the nation. We are going to be a great generation!"

—Amber Jamieson

MLK and Correta Scott King's 9-year-old granddaughter Yolanda just led a chant at #MarchForOurLives in DC

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Sen. Kamala Harris on marchers: "We have leaders who are leading us to do what's right"

California Sen. Kamala Harris joined demonstrators at the March for Our Lives protest in Los Angeles. "Our kids cannot be killed because we have assault weapons on the street. We cannot have a society that is a civil society where we don't recognize we need smart gun safety laws," she told BuzzFeed News.

Asked about the potential lasting power of the March for Our Lives movement, she said, "I know it's gonna stick."

“Congress needs to have the courage these kids have to act,” says Sen. Kamala Harris, who's participating in #MarchForOurLives to call for “smart gun safety laws.” https://t.co/Aw4VuPjr9z

Brianna Sacks

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Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt perform "Found/Tonight"

"We love you. Don't give up." Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt perform "Found/Tonight" at #MarchForOurLives in Washington, DC. https://t.co/JLYnACHb5S

Broadway stars Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt took the stage at the march to perform their original song, "Found/Tonight," which was written to benefit the march.

The song, a mashup of “You Will Be Found” from the musical Dear Evan Hansen and "The Story of Tonight" from Hamilton, came out on Monday.

“In the wake of Parkland, I was awestruck by the strength and leadership of the students and their ability to speak truth to power," Miranda told BuzzFeed News last week. "In the midst of their grief, they mobilized the youth of our nation and created a movement. This is their moment. Not just for themselves, but for all of us."

Julia Reinstein

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The New York City march passed by two Trump properties

People shouted "shame" and "vote him out" as they passed Trump International at Columbus Circle and Trump Parc on Central Park South. Trump spent the day at his Florida golf course.

Crowd shouting "shame" and "vote him out" as they pass Trump International at Columbus Circle #MarchForOurLives NYC

And again as we pass Trump Parc on Central Park South

—Nidhi Prakash

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Thousands fill the streets of DC as organizers declare "change is here"

Alex Wong / Getty Images

Huge crowds filled the streets of DC for the March for Our Lives protest, with organizer David Hogg calling it "the blossoming of our democracy."

Hogg started his speech on a stage in front of the US Capitol by placing a "price tag" on his lectern representing how much money Sen. Marco Rubio "took for every student's life in Florida."

"Change is here. The sun shines on a new day, and the day is ours," he declared.

video-player.buzzfeed.com
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Delaney Tarr speaks at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, DC, on March 24, 2018.
Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Delaney Tarr speaks at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, DC, on March 24, 2018.

Delaney Tarr, a student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and one of the organizers of the March for Our Lives protest, told the crowd that small changes such as the Trump's administration plan to ban bump stocks are not enough.

"We are not here for breadcrumbs, we are here for real change," she said.

"Today we fight, we march, we roar," declared Tarr.

Made it onto rooftop! Look at this massive crowd #MarchForOurLives

Alex Wong / Getty Images

The DC #MarchForOurLives officially kicks off

Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

Other speakers included a Washington, DC, student who lost his twin brother to gun violence, and Naomi Wadler, an 11-year-old who led her elementary school's walkout on March 14.

"I am here today for all the black girls who have been gunned down and can’t be here," said Wadler.

"Just seven short years until we're the ones to vote," she said.

Andra Day and Common performed "Stand Up for Something," while Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt performed "Found/Tonight," a mashup from the musicals Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen.

—Amber Jamieson

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Hundreds show up for the Phoenix march

People are showing up at the Arizona Capitol, chanting “say nay to the NRA” and “arms are for hugging.” Here are some of the demonstrators — and counterdemonstrators — who showed up, some gun owners:

Cindy Rice, a teacher from Maricopa, says she’s energized by the teens leading #marchforourlives for taking on an issue where adults have failed. “I don’t want to have to die to protect my students. I don’t want an active shooter coming into my school.” https://t.co/sXedXqQhgB

There’s some counter protesters at #marchforourlives already too. Nohl Rosen says it’s as simple as the 2nd Amendment: owning firearms “shall not be infringed.” https://t.co/oMVrnWx1Kt

Richard and Susan Wellek are grandparents, and they’re here to support all young people taking a stand. “We’re here for these kids.” Susan says she thinks the 2nd Amendment has been misinterpreted by groups like the NRA. #marchforourlives https://t.co/Fx7w1cSouE

Joe Stiers, 59, says he’s a proud gun owner and goes target shooting with his son. But he doesn’t agree with the NRA agenda and would like to see changes: raising the ownership age, banning bump stocks. “All that’s no brainers.” #marchforourlives https://t.co/2TcDDymvlP

—Claudia Koerner

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Obama to marchers: "You're leading us forward"

Former President Barack Obama tweeted support for March for Our Lives, saying he and Michelle Obama are inspired by the demonstrators.

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. Nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change.

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Here are some of the most powerful signs from the march

Alex Edelman / AFP / Getty Images

"How can we be the future if we never live long enough to get there?"

"Am I next?"

At March for Our Lives events around the world, people carried signs bearing powerful messages of sadness, anger, and hope for change. Here are some of the best ones.

Julia Reinstein

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Paul McCartney marches in New York rally in honor of John Lennon

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Paul McCartney, wearing a T-shirt that reads "we can end gun violence," is at New York's March for Our Lives.

Paul McCartney on CNN: “One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here, so it’s important to me." https://t.co/yloH9QWMgC

"One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here, so it's important to me," McCartney told CNN.

McCartney's Beatles bandmate John Lennon was killed outside the Dakota building, located at 72nd Street and Central Park West, near where Saturday's march kicked off.

Police hold spectators back from the gated archway of the Dakota building on Dec. 9, 1980.
Mario Cabrera / AP

Police hold spectators back from the gated archway of the Dakota building on Dec. 9, 1980.

John Lennon fans continue their vigil outside the Dakota apartment building in New York on Dec. 10, 1980, chanting for peace, raising their hands with the peace sign, and protesting current gun control laws, all the while listening to Beatles' music.
David Bookstaver / AP

John Lennon fans continue their vigil outside the Dakota apartment building in New York on Dec. 10, 1980, chanting for peace, raising their hands with the peace sign, and protesting current gun control laws, all the while listening to Beatles' music.

—Amber Jamieson

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Parkland junior describes the heartbreak of the school shooting: “The adults failed us”

Meghan Bonner, a junior from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, spoke to the crowd at the March for Our Lives protest in New York City, describing the chilling moments when shooter Nikolas Cruz came to her math class on Feb. 14, the day of the school shooting.

That day, Bonner said, there had been a rumor going around the school that there would be “a drill that nobody knew about and they would shoot blanks to scare us.”

Two classmates guarded the door to her classroom, and Bonner said she “felt protected by two 15-year-old boys who promised to do anything in their power to keep my class safe.”

That’s when the shooter banged on the door to be let in. Bonner said the boys “never moved an inch” but that she couldn’t “remember much else” after that.

When Bonner was finally let out of the building by SWAT team officers and told that Cruz was the shooter, she said she wasn’t surprised.

“He was stalking and threatening physical harms to my friends, and nothing was ever done,” Bonner said, her voice breaking as she addressed the crowd. “My friends went home not feeling safe, not knowing what he could be doing.”

One of Bonner’s friends, she said, was a fellow junior ROTC member named Alaina Petty. “We called her Junior Petty, Little Petty,” Bonner said through tears. “She always had a smile on her face and always seemed happy — like nothing could bother her. She was such a nice, kind-hearted kid.”

Bonner said she saw on Snapchat that Petty was missing, and the next morning, found out that she had died.

“The adults failed us, and now 17 people are dead,” Bonner said. “Fourteen kids I saw every day from elementary school to middle school and then high school … are never going to live the life I have the privilege of living.”

“This will never leave me,” Bonner continued. “It has been over a month and I still can’t wrap my head around what happened that day.” Her voice growing stronger, Bonner said she didn’t want to feel unsafe in school anymore: “I want to see change.”

Nidhi Prakash

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Families affected by Scotland's Dunblane massacre say they're marching "for every victim of gun violence"

Families affected by the 1996 massacre at a primary school in Dunblane, Scotland, have joined the March for Our Lives in Edinburgh.

Earlier this month, BuzzFeed News reported that survivors and relatives of those who died in the 1996 school shooting — the last in the UK's history — had written a letter of support to the Parkland teens and their families.

Jack and Ellie Crozier, whose sister Emma died in Dunblane, were among those who addressed the march earlier Saturday.

Today we march March for Dunblane. March for Columbine. March for Sandy Hook. March for every victim of gun violence. #NeverAgain https://t.co/YHZdlNMfdd

The Edinburgh march was also attended by Catherine Wilson, who lost her sister Mhairi in the tragedy 22 years ago, and Ali Ross and her brother Andrew, relatives of Dunblane victim Joanne Ross.

Ali Ross, who lost her sister in Dunblane, talks to Heart about today's March For our Lives in Edinburgh #HeartNews #MarchForOurLives https://t.co/EHkaIxaa9I

The Edinburgh event was supported by the Dunblane No Guns movement. Grieving families from Dunblane successfully lobbied to change the UK's gun laws following the mass shooting.

—Hannah Al-Othman

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A pro-gun rally is underway in Utah before the March for Our Lives protest

Kendall McKee, 11, left, and Amber R. attend a pro-gun march in Salt Lake City designed to advocate for fortified schools and more armed teachers.
Rick Bowmer / AP

Kendall McKee, 11, left, and Amber R. attend a pro-gun march in Salt Lake City designed to advocate for fortified schools and more armed teachers.

In Salt Lake City, Utah, a counterprotest to the March for Our Lives event is calling for armed teachers and speaking against gun control.

The counterprotest, dubbed "March Before Our Lives," has been marketed as a pro-gun march, taking place before the main protest, in the same location. Its Facebook event page reads:

The reason we call it, March "BEFORE" our Lives is because we will be marching in front of the anti-gun protestors moments before their main march begins. We want to show that we are united in the call for change from our leaders, never again do we want our children vulnerable to attacks but until we can count on our leaders to protect our children WE will lead them.

"WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO CONCEAL CARRY IF YOU HAVE IT," the event's Facebook page says.

Levi Rodas, 16, from Orem High School, during a pro-gun march designed to advocate for fortified schools and more armed teachers.
Rick Bowmer / AP

Levi Rodas, 16, from Orem High School, during a pro-gun march designed to advocate for fortified schools and more armed teachers.

Thousands are expected to attend Salt Lake City's March for Our Lives protest, where attendees will march on the steps of the state Capitol building.

—Amber Jamieson

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Parkland performers sing "we won't back down"

video-player.buzzfeed.com

Singers at the Parkland protest performed an original song, calling on the crowd to chant "we won't back down."

The lyrics from the song's chorus go: "No need for weapons, ease your aggression, love and be loved."

—Amber Jamieson

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Houston demonstrators march by Sen. Ted Cruz's office

March for Our Lives demonstrators passed by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's office in Houston, chanting, "books not bullets."

Students marching to @tedcruz’s office for the #marchforourlives Houston. @AMarch4OurLives @BuzzFeedNews

Students also chanted, “vote out Cruz!” while marching with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.

One student, Marcel McClinton, who identifies as a Republican, said he was ashamed of the party's inaction on guns:

“I’m a Republican [...] We’re here not to take away your guns. We’re here because we’re scared for our lives,” Marcel McClinton, high school student. He just turned down his internship with the GOP b4 the crowd. “If you don’t value our lives I’m not interested in your politics.” https://t.co/hgElzH9Jhd

The protesters then filed back in with the main segment of the march:

Protesters filing back into the park after marching by Ted Cruz’s office #marchforourlives Houston @BuzzFeedNews

—Lam Thuy Vo

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Chicago marchers carry signs of texts sent by Parkland students

A Chicago art group of students around the city are carrying texts of Parkland student survivors and victims to the march https://t.co/CIELsTC7Hs

Marchers are gathering in Chicago for the city's protest. One group of protesters is carrying signs that show the text threads sent from Parkland student survivors and victims during the shooting.

Tanya Chen

10 year old Abigail is among them. Her dad is leading the students but she said she’s here because she’s afraid of teachers, like her parents, having to be armed with a gun https://t.co/CQfUGb4dhq

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Parkland teen asks for crowd to get 17 people to vote, one for each of the MSD victims

Sari Kaufman, a 15-year-old from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, addressed the March for Our Lives protest in Parkland, Florida, calling on people to vote in presidential, midterm, and local elections, saying that's the best way to get policy change.

"With this movement we will ensure record-breaking turnout, not just in presidential elections, not just in midterms, but in all elections," said Kaufman.

"Today is just the beginning. Parkland and the rest of the world are sprinting. But these sprints are just warm-up laps. As of now, we have officially started our marathon, which will last until we make change for safer gun policies," she said.

Kaufman said her and her fellow Marjory Stoneman Douglas students will be the "coaches."

"We will motivate you every step of the way. When you are tired, we give you encouragement. … Policy change isn’t nearly as difficult as losing a loved one," said Kaufman.

She called on protest attendees to each agree to get 17 people to vote, for each one of the victims of the Parkland shooting on Feb. 14.

"Vote for all the victims that are lost. I believe in you, America, that this time will be different. Because our words will turn into real action," she said.

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas recorded a video for BuzzFeed News, thanking people for getting involved in their #NeverAgain movement and for joining walkouts and marches across the country.

—Amber Jamieson

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A March for Our Lives protester and an anti-abortion rights protester confront each other in DC

A March for Our Lives protester and an anti-abortion rights protester just confronted each other at the March for Our Lives demonstration in Washington, DC. Vivian Jacobs, a 17-year-old high school senior from Maryland, stepped in front of the anti-abortion protester as he yelled into a megaphone about the value of “every innocent human life.”

“This woman believes that she was not alive prior to her birth,” the anti-abortion protester said into the megaphone.

video-player.buzzfeed.com

Jacobs tried to block the anti-abortion protester’s path for a while, then fell to the ground.

“I’m just really upset that he cares more about fetuses than actual children who have living memories and families who were left behind,” Jacobs said.

“I saw him with a megaphone and I saw other people calling him the devil,” she continued. “And that was making me upset too, because I don’t think he’s the devil. He’s just a human being who doesn’t have power over us. He’s just a person who’s trying to make us feel bad for what we believe in.”

Vivian on why she decided to challenge the anti-abortion counter-protestor #MarchForOurLives @BuzzFeedNews

Stephanie McNeal

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Celebs flock to DC to join the march

Alain Jocard / AFP / Getty Images

Kim Kardashian West tweeted on Saturday morning that she'd arrived in DC with her husband, Kanye West, and daughter North to march.

So ready to March today! Landed in DC w North & Kanye. We stand in solidarity with the survivors of gun violence & students who are calling for action on common sense gun safety laws at #MarchForOurLives around the country @AMarch4OurLives @Everytown

"We stand in solidarity with the survivors of gun violence & students who are calling for action on common sense gun safety laws at #MarchForOurLives around the country," she tweeted.

Amal and George Clooney will be joining the marchers in DC as well, after donating $500,000 to the teen organizers of the March for Our Lives campaign.

Performers and marchers today will include singers Ariana Grande — whose concert in Manchester suffered a terrorist attack that killed 22 people, and Jennifer Hudson — whose mother, brother, and 7-year-old nephew were victims of gun violence in Chicago.

Other performers in DC include Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Vic Mensa, Common and Andra Day.

In Los Angeles, Amy Schumer will address the crowd. A shooting happened during a screening of her film "Trainwreck" at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisana, in 2015.

—Amber Jamieson

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As hundreds of thousands march, Trump golfs

President Donald Trump arrived at the Trump International golf club in Florida a little after 9 Saturday morning. The White House has not yet told the press pool what exactly the president will be doing there, but it’s around 70 degrees and just partly cloudy at the moment in Palm Beach.

One of Saturday's marches is expected to get close to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. The president has not yet tweeted Saturday morning.

White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters issued a statement on the marches, saying, "We applaud the many courageous young Americans exercising their Fist Amendment rights today." She added that "keeping our children safe is a top priority" for Trump. She noted the Department of Justice's new proposal to ban bump stocks and some of the measures intended to limit gun violence in the spending bill Trump signed into law Friday.

Matt Berman

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The march in New York City has begun

Jarie Francisco, 17, is a senior at Immaculate Conception High and is with her mum at #MarchForOurLives NYC

Crowds are gathering near Central Park in New York City for the March for Our Lives protest.

"Teachers shouldn't be armed with guns — teachers should just teach and we should just have stricter gun laws," said Jarie Francisco, a 17-year-old senior from Immaculate Conception School in Manhattan. She was marching with her mother.

One student at the protest knew personally about the impact of a school shooting. Michael W. Conroy, 26, was a student at Northern Illinois University shortly after a 2008 school shooting that killed five people.

"It's just like this ghost," he said of having classes in the same room where the shooting happened.

Michael W Conroy, 26, was a student at NIU a few years after the shooting there in 2008 but he doesn't want people to forget. https://t.co/o8gx1VRVz4

Shubi Singh and Elisabeth Dicarmine, both 19 and med students at CUNY are heading to Columbus Circle for #MarchForOurLives NYC https://t.co/Pfp8UFyr3J

"Obviously we're very upset that teenagers are dying in their schools. ... I just mostly want people in our government to be concerned," said Shubi Singh, a 19-year-old college student.

—Nidhi Prakash

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Marches across the country are kicking off

Here's the scene in Houston:

Houston’s #MarchForOurLives is kicking off

And, of course, in Parkland, where the Stoneman Douglas massacre happened:

The crowd is arriving at the #MarchForOurLives in Parkland

—Lam Thuy Vo and Alex Berg

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These Maryland students are marching four days after their own high school shooting

Four days after a classmate opened fire in the hallway before first period at Great Mills High School in Maryland, fatally shooting a 16-year-old girl in the head and injuring a 14-year-old, students are heading to Washington, DC, for the March for Our Lives protest with an unfortunate connection to the movement.

"I'll be completely honest — I had no idea it was even happening," said 17-year-old student Brooke Obney. "I didn't know March for Our Lives was a thing until it applied directly to me."

Great Mills High School canceled classes for the rest of the week after the shooting. And several students told BuzzFeed News that they have spent the days since preparing for Saturday's march.

"I feel like Tuesday was 300 years ago," said senior Mollie Davis, who was texting BuzzFeed News from her math classroom shortly before being evacuated from school after the shooting. "Time has warped, in a sense."

When the shooting happened, Brooke was in the same building, in a calculus class. They were playing Jeopardy and preparing for upcoming AP exams when they went into lockdown, which ended with police bursting into the classroom, guns drawn, telling students to raise their hands.

"We should have been able to play that game. We should have been able to review for our exams, that are coming up very shortly. We shouldn't have had to deal with something like that," Brooke said.

Jaelynn Willey, the 16-year-old girl shot in the hallway, was taken off life support Thursday night.

On March 14, roughly a week before their own shooting, Great Mills High School was one of many campuses across the US to participate in the National School Walkout in support of stricter gun laws. But Brooke, a senior, wasn't among the protesters.

"I didn't think of it as a big deal at the time," she said. "Knowing what I know now, and seeing what I've seen, I would have walked out of that school."

Now she's determined to protest. She made a sign that reads: "Calculus not casualty."

—Amber Jamieson

Read more here.

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The March for Our Lives protest is underway in London

Hundreds of people have gathered outside the US embassy in London to join the March for Our Lives protest.

Young people, parents, and grandparents have turned out to join the protest outside the building in Vauxhall, south London.

The crowd has been chanting slogans including "NRA, go away" and "books not bullets," and carrying placards — among them were those reading, "Keep my cousins in America safe. No to guns" and “I shouldn’t have to move overseas to feel safe in school.”

Mass die-in outside the US embassy. Incredibly powerful, nearly all of the crowd is on the ground, or kneeling, as they mark 3 mins of silence for the victims #marchforourlives https://t.co/zWydiSKEzo

David Scallan, one of the London organizers, addressed the crowd, saying, “We are here in recognition of a tragedy. We are here to say: Enough is enough!”

“Not one more — never again. We are the force that will force the members of congress to do their jobs!”

His speech prompted the protest to break into a chant of "Do your jobs, do your jobs."

“We may be far from home, but that doesn’t make our voices any less powerful," Scallan added.

—Hannah Al-Othman

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Here’s What It’s Like At The Headquarters Of The Teens Working To Stop Mass Shootings

Remy Smidt / BuzzFeed

How did a group of teenagers react when their school became the site of the US’s latest school massacre? By getting organized and mobilizing into a cohesive movement.

BuzzFeed News visited a meeting of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students as they pushed for what has become the “Never Again” movement to gain mainstream attention.

—Remy Smidt

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Here’s What It’s Like To Be The Face Of A National Movement When You’re A Senior In High School

Remy Smidt / BuzzFeed News

Most 18-year-olds have enough to deal with — but Emma González now finds herself at the center of a national movement known as “Never Again,” after making an impassioned speech at an anti-gun rally.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas student, whose friends were among the 17 killed in the shooting there on Feb. 14, tells BuzzFeed News how the movement is “putting the media back in our own hands.”

—Remy Smidt

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This Is What A 14-Year-Old Girl Left Behind After She Died In A Mass Shooting

Remy Smidt / BuzzFeed News

What’s left behind when a popular, much-loved, and talented 14-year-old girl is killed in a school shooting?

BuzzFeed News spoke to Lori Alhadeff, the mom of Alyssa, who died in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14 about the grief and loss the shooting left in her life.

—Remy Smidt

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