DENVER — Thousands of students around the country, including in Denver, joined together Saturday at the March For Our Lives movement, which calls for an end to gun violence.
There were 832 planned events worldwide in connection with the movement, including the rally at Denver’s Civic Center Park.
Organizers of the Denver march call themselves “Never Again” and gathered last weekend at Manual High School to plan the details of the rally.
The rally began at 2 p.m. at Civic Center Park. Organizers expected at least 10,000 people.
After the rally, participants marched north to Welton at 15th streets and eventually back to Civic Center Park.
Participants say gun violence is not a partisan issue but instead an American issue.
A rally to encourage change to make schools safer for students and teachers should be supported across the aisle, they said.
“I like to say we were the generation that was born into this the first generation and dang it we will be the last,” said Jack Sironen of Never Again Colorado
“It’s so inspirational,” Stoneman Douglas High School graduate Tatiana Matthaei said.
Organizers say the march is just the beginning.
“Gun control is something we must continue fighting for,” a high schooler Lily Schmidt said.
Students of all ages, parents and teachers participated.
“To see the amount of people here is definitely encouraging, to see the amount of young people here, is amazing,” teacher Tim Hernandez said.
People sat up high and stood down low. They cheered, chanted and listened.
“Just a couple of weeks ago, my worst fear happened. I was in art class when the active shooter alarm went off,” a 10-year-old said.
“I was balling of course, and my best friend told me something I will always remember, please stop crying you’re going to give us away.”
People were charged by the shooting in Parkland and inspired by the students who took a stand.
“None of us should have to have gone through this,” Stoneman Douglas shooting survivor and student Maddie King said.
“We still lost 17 of our brothers and sisters, or our friends, our peers and we’re not taking it anymore,” Matthaei said.
“I shouldn’t have to worry about getting shot while i’m in class,” 14-year-old Contessa Perales said.
“Our right to live should be better than people’s rights to own guns,” Schmidt said.
“If a 19-year-old cant buy alcohol, why can they buy a machine that can kill,” King said.
The March For Our Lives in Denver started as a rally, then a walk. The organizers said it was the start of a movement in the United States.
Never Again Colorado charged everyone in the audience to vote. It said that’s the only real way to ensure change.
Earlier this month, the co-founders of Lyft sent a letter to the student organizers of the march, pledging support with free rides to marches around the country for up to $1.5 million worth of free rides.