March for Our Lives: hundreds of thousands demand end to gun violence – live

Crowds gather in Washington for March for Our Lives protest – video
  • Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered in Washington to call for tighter gun laws following the massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida, last month.
  • The rally was led by young activists from Parkland and across the country, in an array of powerful and composed speeches from young people from diverse backgrounds.
  • The White House praised the demonstrators for exercising their right to free speech, but Donald Trump himself was silent at the time of writing, seeming to spend much of the day at his golf club in Florida.
  • Barack Obama tweeted: “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.”
  • Protesters in Washington formed a sea of people along Pennsylvania Avenue, while demonstrators also gathered in Parkland, New York City, San Francisco, and in cities around the world.
  • Students from the school newspaper at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, where the February massacre took place, attended the march as special correspondents for the Guardian and have been guest-editing the Guardian US website since yesterday.
  • The rallies are aiming to persuade Congress to tighten the US’s notoriously lax firearm laws, which have made gun massacres a regular part of American life.
  • Emma Gonzalez, one of the best-known Parkland student activists, led the crowd in 6min 20secs og silence to symbolise the amount of time it took the gunman, Nikolas Cruz, to commit the 17 murders.
  • “We are done hiding,” said her fellow student Ryan Deitsch. “We are done being full of fear. This is the beginning of the end. From here, we fight.”
  • Another student, David Hogg, brought up a major theme of the rally when he urged protesters to register to vote. “When politicians send thoughts and prayers we say no more!” he said. “I say to politicians : get your resumes ready!” Chants of “vote them out” punctuated the event.
  • Seventeen-year-old Edna Chavez, from Manual Arts High in Los Angeles entered the stage with a raised fist and spoke powerfully about losing her brother to gun violence when she was a young child. “I have learned to duck from bullets before I learned to read,” she told the crowd.
  • Eleven-year-old Christopher Underwood, who lost his brother age five to a shooting, said: “I would like to not worry about dying. But worry about math and play basketball with my friends.”
  • Martin Luther King Jr’s granddaughter, Yolanda Renee King, said: “I have a dream that enough is enough. And that this should be a gun free world, period.”
  • “This is a moment of history that I want to be part of,” pop star Miley Cyrus, who sang onstage earlier, told one of our Parkland special correspondents.
  • In New York City, Paul McCartney joined the marchers. “One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here, so it’s important to me,” he said.
  • In Parkland, tens of thousands of marchers passed Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in respectful silence. “Enough really is…

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