Last month, 17 students and teachers were killed and more injured at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, in the US’s deadliest school shooting since 2012. The shooting is unfortunately not one of a kind, but merely the latest in a long history of school shootings. In fact, last week CNN reported that there had been at least 14 school shootings across the US in 2018 alone.
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Since the shooting, students in Florida and beyond have been uniting and turning their grief and horror into activism, using their social media accounts to protest gun control laws and put pressure on the government to act. And their voices are being heard in a big way.
A group of students from the school formed a reactionary movement after the shooting called Never Again to call for increased gun control to prevent more innocent lives being lost, and it has gathered huge momentum. Emma Gonzalez, an 18-year-old student from the school and one of the Never Again founders, delivered a speech at a rally to “call BS” on attitudes to gun control laws that went viral. Another one of the founders (Cameron Kasky) was offered the chance to write an Op-Ed in CNN after speaking out about the tragedy, which you can read here.
Now, Women’s March Youth Empower has called for a National School Walkout. Yep, at 10am today students at schools and universities across America will walk out of their classrooms in unison to pay tribute to the Parkland victims and to promote gun safety at school, on the streets, and in their homes and communities. They’ll be walking out to protest the fact that Congress still hasn’t stepped up to pass any legislation to tighten gun control, because while powerful people sending their ‘thoughts and prayers’ are appreciated, that’s not enough of a response. They’re calling for real action, to stop the same thing happening again.
Next week, there will also be a march in Washington D.C.. March For Our Lives will see students, parents and supporters rally together to say enough is enough, and celebs like Oprah and George Clooney have donated money to the march, and many others have raised their voices in support, including Kendall Jenner.
George and Amal, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am joining forces with you and will match your $500,000 donation to ‘March For Our Lives.’ These inspiring young people remind me of the Freedom Riders of the 60s who also said we’ve had ENOUGH and our voices will be heard.
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) February 20, 2018
In the UK and many other countries around the world we are lucky enough to have strict gun control that stops people from accessing guns easily, and school shootings seem like an unimaginable horror. It must be terrifying to walk into school knowing that there’s no reason that a fellow or ex-student, or even anyone at all, could march in with a gun and murder defenceless students. No-one should have to fear for their lives at school, or anywhere else for that matter.
How can we support if we’re not from the US?
The movement that students have driven in the US has been incredible, and has shown everyone how powerful young people are when they take action. But even if you aren’t in the US, your voice matters too – so here’s how to make it count.
Firstly, follow the progress of the National School Walkout today. MTV will be going dark and our programmes will be suspended from 10am – 10.17am to coincide with the walkout (which lasts seventeen minutes, one minute for each Parkland victim), to show our support. Students across the US will also be doing a takeover of MTV social media accounts at this time, so keep an eye out! Post your support for the walkout on social media using the hashtag #Enough.
ATTENTION!!!!! There will be a meeting Tuesday E2 to email our representatives about gun control and talk about the walkout happening THIS WEDNESDAY! We do not have a location but will update you all soon! #Enough#NeverAgain
— Grinnell High School Students Against Gun Violence (@GHSvsGunDeath) March 12, 2018
This Wednesday, March 14th, marks exactly one month since the shooting in Parkland, Florida. Students across the nation are walking out of class for 17 minutes at 10am across time zones to demand Congress act NOW to end gun violence. Wear orange in solidarity + text P2P to RTVOTE (788-683) to register to vote or to check/update your registration. Join @womensmarchyouth in saying #ENOUGH!
Secondly, march. March For Our Lives sister marches are happening on the 24th March around the world alongside the one in Washington D.C., so find out about the ones near you to stand up and march for the cause too. If you can’t make it in person, donate to support it here.
Nobody should have to witness and go through what these students have gone through, so remember to post on social media using the hashtags #enough and #neveragain to show them that we may be on the other side of the world, but we’ve got their backs.
Stay tuned for more on March For Our Lives…
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Source:: MTV — News