Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

The speeches leading a movement: March for our Lives

WASHINGTON D.C.— Hundreds of thousands of people filled Pennsylvania Avenue in the early hours of Mar. 24, as they attended the March for our Lives to show their support for students leading a movement for gun reform.
The speakers were made up of both Parkland and other survivors of gun violence across the nation. They all had many characteristics showing off their differences: from race, class to grade levels, but each of their speeches highlighted how they were all human with the desire to live and make change.
“All of our lives are important, no matter what color you are, what school you go to or what class you’re in,” Aaliyah Eastmond, a Parkland survivor, said.
Eastmond made it clear how nothing has changed with the unheard voices in urban communities, asking the crowd the question on how many more are needed to get the point across.
“Yes, I am a Parkland survivor, but before this I was a regular black girl and now I am still black and I am still regular and I’m here to make change,” Eastmond expressed to the crowd.
Edna Chavez, a 17-year-old from south Los Angeles, spoke about her experience losing her brother and many other loved ones to gun violence.
“This is normal-normal to the point that I’ve learned to duck from bullets before I learned how to read,” Chavez said. With emotion, Chavez described the day of her brothers passing like any other day, and how the bullets from his shooting sounded like pops from fireworks.
“Ricardo was his name, can y’all say it with me?” Chavez asked of everyone. As she detailed her struggles with trauma and anxiety, Chavez advocated for mental health policies and changing the conditions that foster violence.
Jaclyn Corin, another Parkland student, recognized how privilege played a part in getting such a reaction from everyone in comparison to other shootings that have taken place in less affluent neighborhoods.
“Today we share the stage with people who have always stared at the barrel of a gun,” Corin said.
Corin urged everyone to not be scared to call their representatives, who will be home for the next two weeks for congressional recess.
“We cannot keep America great if we cannot keep America safe…In the end, we’re all fighting for our lives,” Corin said.
She then pulled out a special guest to the stage, who turned out to be nine-year-old Yolanda Renee King, the granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr.
“I have a dream that enough is enough,” King said. She then urged the crowd to say: “we are going to be a great generation!” and to spread the word all across the nation.
Alex King, from Chicago, Illinois, explained how Chicago has been the forefront of gun violence throughout the years. He himself lost his nephew two weeks after his birthday.
“Our pain makes us family,” King said. “If pain is in our community now, pain will continue if we don’t do something.”
The last speaker of the event was Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez, who stood silent for six minutes and 20 seconds, with tears streaming down her face, to show how long it took the gunman to kill 17 people and injure another 15 on Feb. 14.
These student activists made their voices heard and all of them urged everyone to register to vote to make change. The General Election will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The speeches leading a movement: March for our Lives