March For Our Lives: Students are turning frustration into action

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Photo By Rowan Hurt, Shorewood Senior

By Rowan Hurt, Shorewood Senior

The rally for the March for Our Lives on Saturday, March 24, 2018, began at 10am, but members of the greater Seattle area began to assemble at Cal Anderson Park even earlier. People stood around holding “register to vote” clipboards, and waving signs bringing attention to the issue of gun violence.

The march against gun violence was organized almost entirely by students, and students held a large presence in the crowd, holding signs, registering voters, and starting chants. Teachers also showed up in force, asking for the state to fund education instead of giving teachers guns.

Shoreline teachers gathered under the balloons
Photo by Caleb Correos, Shorewood Senior

Many teachers from the Shoreline School District met up to march together, some uniting under a bundle of balloons with the words “Shoreline supports our students” written on them.

At 10, the organizers took to the stage.

“We, the youth of Washington State, are infuriated,” one of the student organizers said to the cheers of the assembled crowd. “We will no longer risk our lives waiting for adults to take action.”

They mentioned the importance of including people of color in the conversation, who are threatened by gun violence on a daily basis.

Books not Bullets
Photo by Rowan Hurt, Shorewood Senior

After the founders spoke, they had several groups on stage, including Youth for Peace and Senator Maria Cantwell. Then, at approximately 11am, people began to stream out of the park.

Tens of thousands of people marched from Cal Anderson Park to the Seattle Center, chanting slogans such as “What do we want? Gun control, when do we want it? Now,” and “Hey hey, ho ho, AK-15s have got to go.”

Voter registration
Photo by Caleb Correos, Shorewood Senior

The march ended with a second rally, at which students gave speeches. Shorecrest students also performed songs, which led into the performances by celebrity guests and singer-songwriters Brandi Carlile and Dave Matthews. While Brandi Carlile had already been scheduled to perform, it was at her request that he came onstage to speak and sing “Mercy.”

“There's been a lot of times I'm proud of this city, and today might be when I'm most proud,” Carlile said before she performed her song “Hold Out Your Hand.”

After the musicians got offstage, more students gave speeches.

Sadie, a student from Seattle Academy, spoke to the crowd. “We think it will not be us, until it is,” she said. “That's why we need to fight until there is not one more.”

Shoreline students and teachers
Photo by Caleb Correos, Shorewood Senior

“We will not stay quiet, and we will not wait for you to catch up with your thoughts and prayers. And we sure as hell aren't going to let this happen again,” said Shorewood freshman Nara Kim. “We have just as loud a voice as they do.”

When the last speaker stepped aside, the core founders came on stage one last time to send people off.

The only gun that belongs in school
is a glue gun
Photo by Caleb Correos, Shorewood Senior

When asked why she came, Shorewood junior Ella Anderton had this to say:

“There was a shooting just this last week at a high school in Baltimore, a hundred miles away from where I was born and grew up. These tragedies keep getting increasingly personal... I despise the fact that I fear every day that I might lose my brothers, my friends, or my mom who is an elementary school counselor… The frustration inside me grows every day.”

If there's one thing that can be taken away from the march, it's that students are ready and able to step up when they feel adults aren't doing enough. They are turning frustration into action, and if the numbers are anything to go by, they are not alone.

Updated photo credits 3-26-2018 10pm


Doug March 26, 2018 at 7:50 AM  

We can all be glad that 17-year olds don’t set policy.

Anonymous,  March 26, 2018 at 6:32 PM  

They soon will, Doug. Thankfully.

Anonymous,  March 28, 2018 at 11:49 AM  

Their generation will one day set policy, but most of their generation holds a different view. These guys are just a vocal minority.

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