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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Across the world Saturday, March for Our Lives brought millions of people out to the streets in protest of gun violence, school shootings and the lack of U.S. gun regulations. At the main event in Washington D.C, organizers estimated 850,000 people or more attended the event.

The D.C. crowd was visible from space, as shown here:
Photo via People for Bernie Sanders (Facebook).

The demonstration, organized by the high school student survivors of the February 14 Parkland shooting, memorialized the 17 people killed by a single shooter with an AR-15 assault rifle, as well as the countless other people who have died from gun violence in the U.S. and worldwide. Attendees of the March for Our Lives called on politicians to respond with more than their thoughts and prayers, and do something concrete about America’s out-of-control gun violence nightmare.

Here are six of the most powerful moments captured at the historic March for Our Lives:

1. Yolanda Renee King

One of the many powerful speeches came from Martin Luther King Jr.’s 9-year-old granddaughter, Yolanda Renee King, who said, “I have a dream that enough is enough and that this should be a gun-free world, period.” She called on her generation of kids to be “a great generation.”

2. Edna Chávez

Another powerful moment came from a 17-year-old named Edna Chávez from South Los Angeles, who spoke out about the normalization of gun violence in minority communities like hers, the loss of her brother to gun violence, and the need for action.

3. Naomi Wadler

Eleven-year-old Naomi Wadler, who co-organized a walk-out at her elementary school earlier this month, gave a speech on African American girls “whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don’t lead on the evening news. I represent the African American women who are victims of gun violence who are simply statistics,” she said.

4. Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney gave a brief interview on why he was attending the March for Our Lives in New York, with a nod to the assassination of fellow former Beatle John Lennon. “One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here, so it’s important to me,” he said.

5. Emma González 

Perhaps one of the most unprecedented speech moments in American history came when Emma González took the stage and stood silent, holding back tears, for six minutes and 20 seconds—the exact amount of time it took for the Parkland shooter to gun down 17 people at her high school last month.

6. David Hogg
Parkland student survivor David Hogg’s impassioned speech directly confronted the corruption of the NRA and politicians who accept NRA funding, and called upon Americans to vote like never before in the 2018 elections and beyond.

Here is a recap Now This News put together from the D.C. event:

April M. Short is a freelance writer who focuses on health, wellness and social justice. She previously worked as AlterNet’s drugs and health editor.