All across the East Coast waves of students have just marched out of class to demand stricter gun laws and an end to school massacres.
The National School Walkout started Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET and will continue across the country at 10 a.m. in each time zone. The protest was sparked by last month’s school massacre in Parkland, Florida, and fueled by years of anger about what many say are inadequate gun laws.
Those participating have three main demands for Congress:
• Ban assault weapons
• Require universal background checks before gun sales
• Pass a gun violence restraining order law that would allow courts to disarm people who display warning signs of violent behavior
Students will stay outside for 17 minutes — one minute for each of the 17 people killed in the Parkland massacre exactly one month ago.
Jackson Mittleman was an 11-year-old sixth-grader when a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary, two miles from his school a tragedy that changed the course of his life. Now at 16, he’s a co-chair of the Jr. Newtown Action Alliance, who is organizing the walkout at Newtown High School,
“A message we’re trying to send to Parkland is we stand behind them. We are motivated and we are fired up to push as hard as they push and fight as long as they fight.”
Abigail Orton, a junior at Columbine High School, said she was inspired to take action on Wednesday by the quick progress of the Parkland students.
“I am absolutely amazed at the amount that they’ve already accomplished, getting their voices out there and being able to speak on this so recently after the event, and to be able to use their status to start bringing about change. I’m honored to be able to call this my generation and to be part of this movement.”
For more coverage live across the country, check out CNN here.
(Photo, YouTube; via CNN)