A group of local high school students are organizing the Seattle branch of the nationwide ‘March for Our Lives’ protest, which will take place on Saturday, March 24, on Capitol Hill.
A coalition of Washington State students this week announced that they are working to unite their communities to stand in solidarity with the student-led demonstration created in response to the most recent mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Protest marches are scheduled throughout the country on March 24, 2018, and Seattle’s demonstration begins at 10 a.m. at Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill, and will be marching to Key Arena. 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, Marysville, South Seattle, and other local communities.
“Every student in this country now goes to school wondering if this day may be their last,” said Rhiannon Rasaretnam. “We can no longer place our safety in the hands of elected officials whose inaction is allowing the lives of children to be taken on a daily basis. This movement is about the youth taking charge and holding elected leaders accountable by marching for our lives and activating all current and upcoming voters.”
The students’ call-to-action for state and national elected officials is to work towards firmer gun control measures that include 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.
Mayoral Town Hall: “Students Stopping Gun Violence”
Student organizers announced their coalition and march plans today and also their plans to take part in “Town Hall: Students Stopping Gun Violence,” which will feature students, educators, parents, community leaders and public health officials. This event is being organized by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office as a response to student call-to-action for community support to address the issue of gun violence. This event takes place on Thursday, March 8th, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Chief Sealth International High School Auditorium, 2600 SW Thistle St. in Seattle. Students have also received endorsement for the march from the Seattle School Board, which passed the resolution without any opposition.
“Our young people are speaking out to reduce gun violence, and we should listen,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Common-sense gun laws protect our city, our neighborhoods, our schools, and our children. March for Our Lives is lifting up the voices of students demanding change, and we must act to fight gun violence together.”
While school shootings make headlines, 46 kids are killed by 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 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.