Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Toronto this morning to stand shoulder-to-shoulder at a rally for the March For Our Lives movement.
The march was created by a group of resilient teenagers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. On February 14th, a 19 year-old former student opened fire in the school, killing 17 students and teachers.
This group came together immediately to demand stricter gun control by the federal government. Student organizers planned the march in collaboration with the non-profit organization, Everytown for Gun Safety.
March For Our Lives started as a demonstration in Washington, DC on March 24, and grew to over 830 marches around the world.
Hundreds of people attended the event at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square, also known as City Hall. They came from all walks of life, carrying handmade signs and banners, wearing buttons and t-shirts with hand-painted slogans.
Thousands campaigned on The Mall in Washington, DC., with approximately one million marching across the US. It has been reported that not since the Vietnam war has there been such a massive demonstration in the United States.
At the Nathan Phillips march, I spoke with two women. One held a sign that read, “Dying Should Not Be The Default” while the other’s read, “MSD Strong”. When asked why they came to the march, one told me that it was because of a personal connection to the cause.
“My niece attends Marjory Stoneman Douglas and she was there the day of the shootings,” she said. “She is only 17 years old and I’m here to support her.”
A family I spoke with told me that they came up from Parkland to attend the rally in Toronto. They laughed about the temperature difference but wanted to come here to walk with their Canadian family.
Amongst the music, singing, chanting and drum beating, there was one underlying message. Change needs to happen now.