Philadelphia was one of the 800-plus cities to take part in the March for Our Lives march Saturday morning. Demonstrators met at Fifth and Market Streets nearby Independence Hall, continued through Old City, and finished with a rally at Lombard Circle.
The organized movement across the country calls for action against gun violence and demands the federal government to enact stricter gun laws and control. While the gun control debate has been ongoing for several years, action against gun violence has been reignited since seventeen students were killed in a February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Demonstrators in Philadelphia took to the streets because they said they feel that kids go to school under threat of gun violence, and not only does it threaten their lives, it takes away from their ability to feel safe in school and to learn properly. One student from Lower Merion High School said that she marched because she is “afraid to get shot in school and I shouldn’t be afraid of that. I should be able to go to school and learn and not have to worry about someone coming in and shooting my school up.”
Another woman, who’s four and a half year old daughter also attended the march, said that her daughter will be attending a Philly public school next year and is concerned for her safety, adding that “it’s not just about our kid it’s about everyone’s children.”
A major target of protests was the National Rifle Association, which is actively working to protect the second amendment and is against gun control. The woman also explained that “the NRA has too many Congress people in their pocket,” and that eliminating those political ties will be a major step to a safer country.”
Marchers were also brought together by music and singing. Voices Rising Philly is a group of activists that attend human rights events and bring people together by singing songs. One of the members, Yvonne, said that “it’s important for people to get together and have a shared voice, and give some energy to our marches and our protests, because we can all make a change.” Yvonne also said that she’s personally against guns and the NRA, and that she is “here for supporting the students, and supporting people who come out against… against Trump. Against the administration that’s run by idiots.”