Gun violence in the USA: what is March for Our Lives?
On last March 24th, American students led a demonstration in Washington, D.C to support restricting gun ownership.
Other cities across the United States and the world witnessed protests and similar events.
What was behind the call for this protest?
On 14 February 2018, 17 people were killed and other 17 were wounded in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in parkland, Florida. This attack was described as one of the world’s deadliest school massacres.
The perpetrator, who was identified by witnesses and arrested, is only 19 year-old.
This event triggered a public debate again in the USA about gun control. Some students began campaigning for legislation tougher laws and founded an advocacy group called Never Again MSD (Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School).
How big was this protest against gun violence?
This protest was described as the biggest gun control in a generation. According to estimations, between 1.2 and 2 million people attended those protests in the United States. Hundreds of people protested in the capital Washington DC, while more than 800 protests and similar events occurred in the country and abroad.
Was there any protest in The UK?
Yes, there was a protest in London, but also other similar activities in cities like Edinburgh and Belfast.
The protest in London was a rally outside the American embassy. Hundreds of people attended this rally in solidarity with children and families of March for our lives, who took to the streets of Washington DC.
London protest was a support for the demands in the USA that lives and safety be made a priority, and that the Americans end gun violence and mass shooting in their schools.
After showing their anger, campaigners lay on the ground to stage a “die-in” in memory of the victims of school shootings in the USA.
Jonathan Cornejo, from Amnesty International, said that the 24th of March was the beginning of a movement.
What was this protest demanding?
This protest was aiming at stop killing more students by mass shootings as the one that happened in Florida. In fact, the campaigners want a safe country where authorities do their best to prevent also gun shootings in churches, nightclubs, concerts, movie theatres, airports and other public places.
Stephen Paduano, organiser of the protest outside the US embassy in London, said that tougher gun control laws are needed, particularly assault weapon ban, background checks and disarming boys.