This weekend, Boston area students are continuing their fight to end gun violence by taking to the streets for a march to Boston Common.
March For Our Lives is a national movement, and the sister event in Boston is expected to attract around 50,000 people.
Here and around the country, students who have been speaking out against gun violence since the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in which 17 people were killed will be joined by family, friends and strangers outside of their age group and demographic.
“It’s nice to see we have support from other generations,” said Vikiana Petit-Homme, a 16-year-old Boston Latin Academy student and one of the student leaders of the Boston event. “Because as much as I believe our generation will change things, we definitely need help from these other generations. They’re the ones that can vote right now — who can vote for those who can’t.”
Everyone is invited to participate in the march, but the organizers are making sure the spotlight is still on the youth. The march will set off from Madison Park High at 11 a.m. and reach Boston Common for a rally in the early afternoon, where students will speak to the crowd.
“There will be no elected politicians on the stage. That’s an absolute ‘no’ that we set from the very beginning of organization,” Petit-Homme said. “It doesn’t make sense for them to be on stage, say how much they support us, how great things are. We already know that. We just need them to take action, that’s their only role in this.”
Last week’s event fell on the one-month anniversary of the Parkland shooting. On Tuesday, there was another shooting at a high school in Maryland.
Amalia Hochman, 16, another student organizer who goes to Somerville High, said it was devastating to hear that news.
“It’s just another horrible reminder that there’s a reason we’re doing this work and we have to keep going, otherwise it’s going to keep happening,” she said.
Petit-Homme agreed that the news of Tuesday’s shooting adds fuel to these activists’ fire. But she also noted that on average, 96 Americans die from gun violence every day.
“This isn’t about money, it isn’t about taking away your Second Amendment, it isn’t about taking away your rights. This is about feeling safe when I walk home,” she said. “This is just about lives. … That’s all it has to be. It has to be about empathy and caring, and if you think about it on that level, there really are no two sides to this, only one.”
March For Our Lives Boston Start Time, Location
Students and activists will arrive at Madison Park High School, 75 Malcolm X Blvd. in Boston, between 9 and 10 a.m.
The march will step off at 11 a.m.
The march hopes to reach Boston Common at 12 p.m.
Rally starts at 2 p.m.
More information at marchforourlivesboston.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.