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March For Our Lives: Four Of Taft’s Issues To Action Members Marched In Solidarity For Those Affected By Gun Violence

From+left+to+right%3A+Samantha+Carniello%2C+Chloe+Bernier%2C+Nicholas+Cuevas%2C+and+Jazzia+Barrios+at+March+of+our+Lives+in+Washington+DC
From left to right: Samantha Carniello, Chloe Bernier, Nicholas Cuevas, and Jazzia Barrios at March of our Lives in Washington DC

From left to right: Samantha Carniello, Chloe Bernier, Nicholas Cuevas, and Jazzia Barrios at March of our Lives in Washington DC

Photo provided by Barrios

Photo provided by Barrios

From left to right: Samantha Carniello, Chloe Bernier, Nicholas Cuevas, and Jazzia Barrios at March of our Lives in Washington DC

Jazzia Barrios, Reporter

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In light of the recent mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, students all over the world took the streets with the same passion and determination to put a advocate the need to stop the gun violence epidemic.

March For Our Lives was a student led march held on March 24, 2018 against gun violence, and for the reform of gun laws. The purpose of the march was not to ban guns entirely, but to enforce the laws permitting prospective gun owners to go through more thorough background checks. However, the march did call for the ban on high capacity magazines and assault weapons. Not only was March of Our Lives a nationwide march, but also had other countries marching in solidarity with students and showing their support.

In addition to student speakers, many performers such as Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Jennifer Hudson came to show their support while also performing empowering songs. Other celebrities, who did not perform but chose to march in support for the cause were, Paul McCartney and rapper Common; the list goes on.

The energy the crowd possessed was astounding to many. According to Time Magazine, Washington DC was prepared for 500,000 people; it is an estimated of 800,000 people attended the march.

As many marches across the country took place in major cities, many people made the trip to DC to be at the center of the cause. Taft’s very own Issues to Action club selected four of their members– Samantha Carniello, Nicholas Cuevas, Jazzia Barrios and Chloe Bernier– to also attend the DC march thanks to the Mikva Challenge Foundation, an organization created to empower the youth to be informed and stay politically aware.

“There were so many people. We were 12 blocks away from the stage, it was crazy. There were so many people, from babies, to older people,” said Carniello.

Many students roamed around the streets of Pennsylvania Avenue, their signs held high, their voices projecting, demanding for change.

“I was touched because strangers you didn’t know were there to support the same cause. There were a lot of people communicating with each other. You could turn to the person next to you and talk about an issue that you feel is very important. You could share your story and ideas and it was just so empowering to communicate with those all over the country that want to change what you want to, which in this case, was gun control,” said Cuevas.

Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School accompanied by other students who have been affected by gun violence spoke out, sharing powerful speeches, retelling their stories and painful experiences.

“I was so excited to participate on a change that teenagers across the country wanted. I felt a sense of community because everyone was on their way to support a cause that was dear to them because they truly wanted change.  To me, the march was the beginning of change,” said Cuevas.

Many students roamed around the streets of Pennsylvania Avenue, their signs held high, their voices projecting, demanding for change.

“It showed youth empowerment and how just because you’re young, it doesn’t mean you can’t make a change. As long as you come together, find others that support the same cause as you and just continue to spread your words and use your voice, change will come, change will happen,” said Cuevas.

“It was an unreal experience, and it’s just crazy how we can all come together as one to help this situation and hopefully overcome it,” said Carniello.

The Marjory Stoneman students have organized another event, Town Hall For Our Lives, set to take place on April 7. At this event, everyone can demand for their town hall to be opened for questioning and conversation. This is just the next step of many more to come. 

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March For Our Lives: Four Of Taft’s Issues To Action Members Marched In Solidarity For Those Affected By Gun Violence