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Area youth organize rally, march that draws 5,000

Ellary Lockood, one of the organizers, spoke at the march.

Despite snow flakes falling, about 5,000 elementary, middle and high school students, parents and community members gathered March 24 for Spokane’s March for Our Lives at Riverfront Park.

They listened to speeches and then marched through downtown Spokane to call for an end to gun violence in schools and communities.

They carried signs and repeated chants that said: “Kids not guns.” “Love not hate makes America great.”

“No more thoughts and prayers. Take action, show you care,” read one sign.
“Am I next?” asked another.

They made it clear, they are not about removing every firearm from every home, but making gun ownership more responsible so everyone is safer.

“We are here about gun reform and safety,” said Audrey Baumer of Cheney High School.

Local high school students began organizing for the day, as well as for school walkouts on March 14 and April 20, at the Feb. 24 Peace and Justice Action League Peace Action Conference.

Student organizers helped to form a Student Council with support from some adults. Members of the Teachers Union were trained as peacekeepers

There were 800 March for our Lives events across the United States and around the world, growing out of a gunman’s killing of 17 students and teachers at Margery Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, and injuring others.

Since the shooting, students there and at other schools have challenged the federal government’s inability to stop such shootings.

For information, visit the group’s facebook page, No Kids Left Spokane.

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