Crowds of people, estimated in the thousands, gathered in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, joining thousands of others marching in Washington D.C. and nationwide for stricter gun laws, after a series of horrifying mass shootings around the U.S.
Motivated by that fresh surge in mass shootings, from Uvalde, Texas, to Buffalo, New York, protestors say lawmakers must take note of shifting public opinion and finally enact sweeping reforms.
The LA rally took place in Grand Park outside City Hall from noon to 3 p.m.
The rally began around noon, with the actual march taking place around 12:30 p.m. on surface streets around LA City Hall.
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Memorial speeches began around 2:15 p.m., with the event wrapping up at 3 p.m.
A number of speakers were slated to talk at the event, many of them affected by gun violence in some way or another. Among them were:
- Joseline Garcia, Co-Founder of Un-PAC, a national organization centered on achieving democracy reform. She also "serves as Un-PAC's National Organizing Director where she works with young people across the country to make our democracy truly representative," according to a release about the rally.
- Santiago Mayer, the Executive Director of Voters Of Tomorrow–a youth voting organization started by Santiago in December 2019. He also "co-founded the Prom At The Polls campaign, a non-partisan initiative meant to energize first-time voters who lost their senior prom due to the COVID-19 pandemic," according to the release.
- Hasan Piker "is the pioneer of pop culture and lifestyle content on Twitch, where he is one of the platform’s top creators," the release says.
- Mia Tretta is a 17-year-old wounded gun violence survivor of the Saugus High School shooting in 2019. She "has since devoted her life to advocating for stricter gun laws and safety regulations," according to the release. "She volunteers much of her time with Everytown For Gun Safety as a Students Demand Action leader and works often with many lawmakers on a countrywide ban of ghost guns."
- Dr. Jeffrey Birnbaum is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. "He completed his medical training in Atlanta, Georgia and Nashville, Tennessee where he developed first-hand experience treating children and young adults injured by firearms," the release said. He is also an alumnus of of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where the Parkland shooting took place.
- C Heis (they/them) is a 17 year old trans and disabled youth organizer. They helped coordinate accessibility for Saturday's March for Our Lives march in LA.
- Cameron Kasky is a survivor of the 2018 Parkland, Florida school shooting of Marjory Stoneman Douglass. "As a survivor, Cameron works as a gun regulation activist who has co-founded Never Again MSD in addition to helping organize March For Our Lives in 2018," the release said.
March organizers asked that attendees to marches around the country bring signs, but not picket signs, along with their own water, sunblock, hats and snacks.
They also asked that protesters not block sidewalks or access to buildings, and stay out of the streets unless they have a permit to march there.
LA attendees join an estimated 450 other planned marches around the country, according to organizers, including other marches in these Southern California locations:
- Long Beach California at 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Harvey Milk Park is located at 185 East 3rd Street
- Santa Monica California at 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Aero Theater is located at 1328 Montana Avenue
- Westwood California at 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. The UCLA Bruin Bear Statue is situated between Ackerman Student Union and the John Wooden Sports and Recreation Center in Westwood Plaza.
- Pasadena California at 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Pasadena City College is located at 1570 E Colorado Blvd
- Culver City California at 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Veterans Park is located at 4117 Overland Avenue
- Manhattan Beach California at 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Manhattan Beach Pier is located at 2 Manhattan Beach Blvd.
- La Canada Flintridge California at 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Memorial Park is located at1301 Foothill Blvd, La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
- Santa Clarita California at 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., at Valencia and Magic Mountain Parkway
- A series of San Fernando Valley March For Our Lives Protests in Encino California at 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., at Ventura Boulevard and Hayvenhurst
- Burbank California at 10:00 a.m, - 11:30 a.m., at Chandler Bike Path near Chandler & Mariposa
- Westlake Village California at 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., at The Promenade at 100 Promenade Way
- Palmdale California at 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., at Rancho Vista Blvd & 10th St West at 39605 10th St West
- A series of Orange County March For Our Lives Protests, at Laguna Beach California at 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Main Beach is located at Pacific Coast Highway and Laguna Canyon Road at 107 S. Coast Highway
- San Clemente California at 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. San Clemente Library is located at 243 Avenida Del Mar
- Anaheim California at 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Pearson Park is located at 400 N Harbor Blvd
- Santa Ana California at 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Centennial Park is located at 3000 West Edinger Avenue
- Fullerton California 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Hillcrest Park is located at 1200 North Harbor Blvd