There were 800 marches scheduled throughout the world March 24. An estimated 800,000 people marched in Washington, D.C. — more than the 500,000 that were estimated at the Women’s March there last year. In California, several marches were spread throughout the state, covering San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and San Diego. The march in L.A. garnered over 50,000 people who marched from Pershing Square to Grand Park on a cold and cloudy Saturday morning.
Referred to as “Generation Columbine,” kids born after 1999 grew up learning to hide during active shooter drills, knowing their school could be the next target. The march was largely led by teenagers who claim they’re the most affected by gun violence in the country. Fifteen students and two adults were killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day this year. Since then, 73 teenagers have been killed due to gun violence — in a span no longer than two months.
After the Parkland shooting, survivors turned their grief and anger into resilience, advocacy and a relentless pursuit for gun reform. Emma Gonzales emerged as the face of the #NeverAgain movement after she gave a chilling speech during a memorial for Parkland victims. On Saturday, Los Angelenos marched through downtown chanting “We call B.S.” in reference to Gonzales’ now famous speech.
Claire Esther Davis was shot by a classmate outside of the library at her high school in Colorado. She passed away in December 2014, and now her friend Joe Winnick (far right) marched with two friends in her name, and those of the many other victims of gun violence. “This is a celebration of her life, we’re carrying this in her honor and for all others who had tragic transitions. We hope them leaving will not be in vain,” Davis said.
But the demand for gun control goes well beyond Parkland. Advocates of the Black Lives Matter movement have long been a part of this conversation, fighting for voices that have been ignored for too long. In Washington D.C., the Parkland students recognized their privilege and shared the stage with members of several underrepresented communities, including Edna Chavez, a student from South L.A. who lost her brother to gun violence.
All photography by Miranda Mazariegos.