Hundreds of Thousands of People Marched Against Gun Violence Today

It was the largest demonstration for gun control in US history.

People fill Pennsylvania Avenue during the "March for Our Lives" rally in support of gun control, Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Washington.Alex Brandon/AP

Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the US—and even the world—are planning to take part in over 800 rallies and marches scheduled for Saturday to protest the epidemic of gun violence in the United States and to call for stricter gun control measures. The “March For Our Lives” in Washington, DC, and companion protests worldwide, were organized by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, after the mass shooting there on February 14 took 17 lives. Organizers are expecting 500,000 people in Washington, DC, alone.

The high school students, including Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg, are leading a new wave of activism around this issue. Though Florida enacted new gun control restrictions after the shooting (along with a measure to arm teachers), Congress has done nothing. The National Rifle Association also reportedly persuaded President Donald Trump not to push for tougher gun regulations

“The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues,” says the mission statement from the march website. There were 38,000 gun deaths in the US last year and there have been 17 school shootings so far in 2018 – an average of one per week.

Mother Jones has reporters covering the protests across the country: Nathalie Baptiste and Kara Voght in DC, James West and Mark Helenowski are traveling with students and families from Newtown, Connecticut, to Washington, Ari Berman in New York City, Bryan Schatz and Al Kamalizad in Salt Lake City, and Margaret Kadifa in San Francisco. Follow them for breaking news on the marches.

And we are covering the events all day, right here: 

4:15 p.m. EDT: The marches are breaking up after an extraordinary day of peaceful and massive protests against gun violence. Here’s our colleague James West, who traveled with the Newtown young people to DC.

3:40 p.m. EDT: Here’s what our former president thought.

3:00 p.m. EDT: A number of victims of gun violence also attended the march in DC. Including this remarkable former lawmaker.

Speaking of lawmakers.

2:50 p.m. EDT: The speech that wasn’t a speech, showing how silence can be much more eloquent than words.

2:40 p.m. EDT: So many incredible speeches in DC. We will include more but for starters. 

2:30 p.m. EDT: Good thing  that Congress has already left for recess. Or is it? 

In Oakland, Mike Mechanic, who’s one of our editors in SF, is on the scene. 

2:00 p.m. EDT: The marches in the west have started to gain momentum as the day wears on. Here are a few glimpses of what’s happening there. 

In LA:

In San Francisco:

In Portland:

Here’s Seattle:

1:45 p.m. EDT: Meanwhile, with Bryan Schatz and Al Kamalizad in Salt Lake City, Utah. They’ve been traveling with  Royce Christensen. In October 2017, he survived the worst mass shooting in modern American history in Las Vegas. Now the 22-year-old security guard is fighting for gun control and joining a protest for the first time. You can see a video of him here on our Facebook page. 

https://twitter.com/BryanSchatz/status/977599314825367552

There have been quite a few expressions of support from members of the armed services, who understand weapons better than most.

1:30 p.m. EDT:  Remember the Oscar nominated picture?

1:15 p.m. EDT:  To get some sense of how many people came out in DC, look at these.

1:00 p.m. EDT: People are coming out in all kinds of weather all over the country. 

12:45 p.m. EDT: Our reporter Kara Voght had a little chat with a US senator at the march. Take a look. 

12:30 p.m. EDT:  The marches are all over the country and they are amazing.

First the Rock.

Then the senator.

Then America.

 

12:00 p.m. EDT: Our reporters are out there covering the marches. Here’s what they are seeing. 

11:50 a.m. EDT: This is what is happening in other parts of the country and, of course, also in DC.

11:32 a.m. EDT: Seems like a basic question coming from Florida. 

11:30 a.m. EDT: The marches will last one day, but they are all also focused on another big day in November. 

 

11:15 a.m. EDT: This is a march that is led by young people, in every possible way. 

Fathers and sons. Make that sons and fathers…

 

11:00 a.m. EDT:  On the bus with the students from Sandy Hook, finally arriving in DC.  One of the kids shares his thoughts. 

10:45 a.m. EDT: Trying to keep up with all the amazing images from all over the world is dizzying. Just look at what’s going on out there.

From our own Vishakha Darbha in NYC. 

And in DC.

And….Patagonia, Chile!

 

10:30 a.m. EDT: Some scenes from the march in Parkland, Florida, where it all began. 

From London, as in England, another march. 

10:15 a.m. EDT: Just in case you were thinking of visiting Mar-A-Lago—where the president has decamped for the weekend of the march, traffic will be a problem. 

10:03 a.m. EDT: Crowds everywhere! And this time in a city that knows from crowds. Yes, NYC.

9:39 a.m. EDT: But the action is all over the country as well—make that all over the world.

9:34 a.m. EDT: Meanwhile, on the road with our MoJo team. 

9:28 a.m. EDT: People going to the march have made some amazing signs. It’s still early and already getting crowded downtown.

9:13 a.m. EDT: People are coming to DC, where it is a beautiful day by the way.

8:52 a.m. EDT: Marches have already started in Europe.