“The kids are our future” is officially more than just a cliché.
The Parkland student survivors have started more than just a hashtag but an entire movement. And on Saturday thousands across the country (and the world) turned out to the March for Our Lives rally in support of gun reform laws. While the official protest was held in D.C., there were also massive turnouts in L.A., Chicago, New York, Houston, Austin, Parkland, Detroit, Atlanta, and more. They are still working on the exact numbers of the turnouts but based on the photos alone, it looks like the city streets were packed everywhere.
In addition to the amazing protest signs, many showed up with price tags for $1.05. Student survivor and activist Lauren Hogg explained,
“We took the amount of money that Marco Rubio took from the NRA, and we divided it by every single student in the state of Florida. So, this is how much we’re worth to the Florida government. It’s our price tag.”
There were also a ton of speeches, performances, and celeb appearances. In case you missed all the amazing things that went down, here are some of the highlights.
Emma González Gave An Epic Speech
All eyes were on Emma as she gave another one of her powerful speeches. She started,
“Six minutes and about twenty seconds. In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us, 15 were injured, and everyone, absolutely everyone, was forever altered. Everyone who was there understands, everyone who has been touched by the cold grip of gun violence understands.”
She continued to list all 17 victims followed by a moment of silence. While Emma stood in silence, the crowd started cheering and chanting “never again.” Emma was mesmerizing and strong. She ended her speech with,
“Fight for your life before it’s somebody else’s job.”
Watch the full speech below.
Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande and More Performed
Demi and Miley have always been political and ever since the Manchester shooting, Ariana has been vocal about gun control laws. All three showed up to perform on stage with Demi singing “Skyscraper,” Miley singing “The Climb,” and Ariana singing “Be Alright.”
MLK Jr.’s Granddaughter Came Out to Make a Statement
Martin Luther King Jr.’s 9-year-old granddaughter Yolanda Renee King came out to support the cause. She told the crowd,
“My grandfather had a dream that his four little children would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream that enough is enough. That this should be a gun-free world. Period.”
Paul McCartney Remembered John Lennon
Paul came out to the march wearing a tee that read, “We Can End Gun Violence.” When speaking to reporters he said,
“One of my best friends was killed by gun violence right around here so it’s important to me not just to march today but to take action tomorrow.”
John Lennon was killed a little more than 37 years ago in New York.
Teen Activist Edna Chavez Gave an Amazing Speech
Although she is not a victim of the Parkland shooting, Edna Chavez has become a victim of regular gun violence. Her brother was shot while in high school and her entire family has had to deal with the trauma. She represents a key demographic of children who grow up with gun violence all around them, to the point that it becomes normalized. She told the crowd,
“I am a survivor. I have lived in South L.A. my entire life and have lost many loved ones to gun violence. This is normal. Normal to the point that I have learned to duck from bullets before I learned how to read.”
“Arming teachers will not work. More security in our schools does not work. Zero tolerance policies do not work. They make us feel like criminals. We should feel empowered and supported in our schools.”
Edna has become a youth leader in her community. Her speech was considered one of the most memorable of the day.
Taylor Swift Spoke Out
Usually, a celebrity tweet wouldn’t be notable, but one from Taylor Swift on politics? Yeah, that’s headline news.
Swift is known and often harangued for staying out of politics — especially because many believe she profits from staying silent since she a lot of her fans are Trump supporters.
But today she actually said something. She wrote on Instagram,
“No one should have to go to school in fear of gun violence. Or to a nightclub. Or to a concert. Or to a movie theater. Or to their place of worship. I’ve made a donation to show my support for the students, for the March For Our Lives campaign, for everyone affected by these tragedies, and to support gun reform. I’m so moved by the Parkland High School students, faculty, by all families and friends of victims who have spoken out, trying to prevent this from happening again.”
Of course, this is truly the least she could have done but hey, it’s a start.
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel (by far!), but when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her hanging with her kitty Tom or tweeting at Sen. Chuck Schumer.