New images from the March For Our Lives protest reveal massive crowds descending on Washington, D.C. More than 500,000 people are expected to march in the capital, while over 800 simultaneous marches are planned across the United States.
Survivors of the deadly Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting led the protest to demand lawmakers pass common sense gun laws. In their mission statement, students outlined an action plan and demanded a comprehensive bill be brought before Congress to strengthen background checks on gun purchases.
“The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues,” the statement said. “No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.”
Parkland students raised more than $5.4 million for this march, thanks to a successful GoFundMe campaign and celebrity donations from George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, and Steven Spielberg, among others.
“We are going to make this the voting issue,” David Hogg, one of the surviving Parkland students, said in Washington. “We are going to make sure the best people get in our elections to run not as politicians, but as Americans, because this is not cutting it.”
The White House also weighed in on Saturday’s march. “We applaud the many courageous young Americans exercising their First Amendment rights today. Keeping our children safe is a top priority of the President’s,” said Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters.
Despite White House support for the massive crowds overwhelming Pennsylvania Avenue, one notable guest was missing. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump left the White House on Friday and headed to Mar-a-Lago for the weekend. Trump was spotted heading to his golf course right before the March For Our Lives began.