It’s impossible to pick a singular most-powerful moment from Saturday’s student-led March for Our Lives protest against gun violence in Washington, D.C. There was Emma González’s emotional moment of silence. Martin Luther King Jr.’s granddaughter’s speech about her dream. The sheer fact that in more than 800 places around the world, both children and adults pulled out their markers and cardboard signs, walked down their cities’ streets, and in unison delivered a forceful message to lawmakers, the National Rifle Association, and anyone listening: Never again should a student die in a school shooting.
After losing 17 of their classmates and teachers to a tragic school shooting just over a month ago, and handful of student survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, started the #NeverAgain movement and organized the March for Our Lives protest against gun violence.
While no official estimates have been released regarding the number of people worldwide who protested yesterday for stricter gun legislation, the March’s organizers estimate than in D.C. alone, approximately 800,000 people attended. Looking at crowd photos from some of the larger sibling marches in major cities around the world — from Paris to Tokyo to Brussels to London — the overall number of march attendees easily exceeds one million.
But the main event, where the vocal survivors from Parkland, Florida, delivered powerful speeches, performed the original song “Shine,” and led the hundreds of thousands of people in front of them, was in D.C. The anti-gun-violence rally may officially be over, but the students proved that they’re only just getting started.
“The voters are coming,” Parkland student Cameron Kasky said — a message not only to fellow protestors, but lawmakers around the country.