A youth-led movement has announced plans to hold nationwide marches next month and call for an end to gun violence after a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, left 19 children and two teachers dead on Tuesday.
March for Our Lives, an activist group founded after the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting, will hold marches across the U.S. on June 11. The march in Washington, D.C., is set to take place from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. that day, Florida’s Sun-Sentinel newspaper reported.
Zeenat Yahya, the group’s policy director, said March for Our Lives looks to “flood” politicians’ offices in the days leading up to this year’s march, according to the newspaper.
One of the group’s goals is to pass gun control legislation, such as H.R. 8, which mandates universal background checks ahead of gun sales. The bill was recently the subject of an emotional press conference speech by Golden State Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr.
March for Our Lives is encouraging others to sign petitions, contact politicians, vote and participate in the demonstrations. The group has also called on Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to bring the bill to a vote in the Senate; however, such a move is unlikely in the next two weeks due to lawmakers’ pre-planned trips and breaks.
Serena Rodrigues, a national coordinator for the group, said its members are heartbroken for the victims of Tuesday’s school shooting, Florida news outlet WPBF reported.
“You put a target on our backs and this is a preventable tragedy,” Rodrigues said. “The regular mass murder of students and kids like this, it’s so normal in America. And we can’t stop bullets with thoughts and prayers. To honor those lost and save countless lives, more lives, we really do need action. And we’re dying while we wait for it.”