The March 14 protest began at the library mall, where hundreds of students at UW-Madison left their classes and marched towards the capital, meeting with the hundreds of high schoolers who walked out of class to voice their opinions.
Having less than five days of planning, student organizers Victoria Barrett, Simone Williams, Beth Alleman, and Laurel Noack put together an event that brought over seven hundred students, teachers, and parents to the capital.
These students in Madison, along with students nationwide, walked out of classrooms and marched in solidarity with the survivors and supporters at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
A post on the “Keep Guns Off the UW-Madison Campus” Facebook event page shed some light on the issue. “The amount of gun violence in this country is higher than any other country in the world, and the United States is the only country that regularly has to deal with mass shootings and has normalized such events. THIS NORMALIZATION MUST STOP. We as students have the right to go to school and not fear for our lives while attending classes. We deserve more than “thoughts and prayers” from politicians – we deserve comprehensive gun reform laws and a full on ban on assault rifles. We are ready to rise up and make a change and say #NEVERAGAIN.”
Along with the observation of a moment of silence in memory of the Parkland victims, some of the event speakers included State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, Jordan Madden, Jack Larsen, Kelly Ward, and gubernatorial candidate Kelda Roys.
Many participants shared a common message about being sick that guns are so prevalent in schools, and how Republican politicians in Washington are complicit in the public health crisis.