The Chicago March For Our Lives started with a Facebook event created by 16-year-old Natalie Daskal. After finding inspiration in a speech from Parkland survivor and MSDHS student Emma Gonzalez, she looked for a nearby event. Since she didn’t see one, she made it herself.
“I had an idea that it may get kind of big, but I had no clue what was going to happen,” she told the Chicago Tribune. “I just had faith that other people would reach out.”
Once created, the event grew quickly; that one Facebook event turned into a 30-person group chat, and then tens of thousands of interested activists. The event just kept growing, eventually including input from Everytown for Gun Safety, Black Lives Matter Chicago Youth, Young Urban Progressives, Women’s March Chicago, Indivisible Illinois, Gather Activism, and countless other individual supporters. Thus, it all came together on Saturday in the form of a crowd of an estimated 85,000 who marched from Union Park through the West Loop.
Only speakers and performers under the age of 21 took the stage.
A Snowy March Through Cincinnati
Thousands braved the cold, snow, and wet for Cincinnati’s March For Our Lives. Bundled up against the falling snow, a crowd of marchers filled Platt Park carrying signs with slogans including “Bullets are not school supplies” and “Straight As, not AKs.” High school and college students, including 17-year-old march organizer Rasleen Krupp, gave impassioned speeches on the steps of City Hall after a performance with flutes made from gun barrels. After the March, an open mic was made available for anyone who wished to speak.
Stand Up and Tell ‘Em
In Detroit, young marchers stepped to the front of the crowd to lead the way. The march led protesters along the riverfront, up Woodward, and back to Hart Plaza. There, crowds gathered to hear student organizers and local politicians speak from a stage near the Renaissance Center.
Emily Gonzalez, 14 of Lincoln Park High School is one the youth organizers that helped put this together. She talked to @freep about the message they want to send. #MarchForOurLivesDet pic.twitter.com/0MHgeL9pnP
— Aleanna Siacon (@AleannaSiacon) March 24, 2018
When Joanie Marches With You*
The New Orleans March For Our Lives stepped off from Washington Park at noon. From the Marigny, marchers headed up Decatur through the French Quarter. With a destination of City Hall, the procession ended in a rally at Duncan Plaza. An estimated 8,000 people marched for universal background checks, age restrictions for gun purchases, and a repeal of the Dickey Amendment.
*“Joanie on a Pony” is a nickname for the golden statue of Joan of Arc that stands at the end of the French Market.