Here’s what to expect at Saturday’s ‘March For Our Lives Seattle’ student protest

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Katalia Alexander is a student at Mount Rainier High School in Des Moines.

By Katalia Alexander

This Saturday, March 24, a coalition of students from throughout Washington State will gather for ‘March for Our Lives Seattle’ to show solidarity with students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and the March for Our Lives events they have inspired around the country.

Seattle’s demonstration begins at 10 a.m. at Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill and will be marching to Seattle Center. Tahoma High School student Rhiannon Rasaretnam, and Ballard High School student Emilia Allard are leading the local organizing effort, which also includes students from public and private schools in Gig Harbor, Des Moines, South Seattle and other nearby communities.

At 10 a.m., the program will begin at Cal Anderson Park with speakers that include Senator Maria Cantwell, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and march founders Rasaretnam and Allard. The march will then proceed, starting at Pine Street and ending at Seattle Center.

“It is time to keep our schools safe and adopt common sense gun reform,” said Attorney General Bob Ferguson. “Our youth are taking a leadership role to address gun violence. I’m proud to join the young voices who are Washington’s future leaders.”

At Seattle Center, march participants will be greeted with opportunities for voter registration on site for new youth voters and others not previously registered. A second program will take place at Seattle Center which will include speeches and performances by:

  • Washington State Governor Jay Inslee
  • Brandi Carlile, Seattle-based folk and rock musician
  • Gregory Pleasant, Youth 4 Peace

Students from throughout Washington State have worked to create this event as a call-to-action for elected officials to enact common sense gun safety legislation. Specifically they are asking for action on banning assault rifles, banning bump stocks nationally, raising the age for gun purchases from 18 to 21, ensuring school safety without use of firearms and calling on members of Congress and corporations to stop accepting support from or providing support for the NRA.

“We hope that what our fellow students take away from this event is that they have ignited a movement,” said Rhiannon Rasaretnam. “We will no longer wait for adults to act while children are killed every single day in their schools and in their communities. First we march, then we vote, and soon many of us will be ready to run for office to replace those members of congress who are not serving the youth, their constituents or our country.”

The coalition of student organizers continues to fundraise to pay the costs of the march. Donations can be made at: Any funds collected over the cost of the march will be donated to the Stoneman Douglas Victims Fund and will also be used for future March for Our Lives Seattle activities. On Saturday, march participants can also send a message to Parkland students at the fundraising tent which will be located at Seattle Center. Messages of solidarity will be gathered and shared with Parkland students.

While school shootings make headlines, 46 kids are shot due to gun violence every single day in America, the majority of these, in marginalized communities. March for Our Lives Seattle students recognize and stand in solidarity with organizations that are at the forefront of the issue of gun violence in communities of color.

About March for Our Lives Seattle
March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar. In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut short in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns. March For Our Lives believes the time is now.

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