The students behind the Never Again movement and the National School Walkout movement are continuing their efforts to end gun violence in schools and demand action from legislators with a second national walkout and rally this Friday, April 20. Students in Richmond and around the country will walk out of school, and students, legislators, school shooting survivors and other allies from across the state plan to rally after the walkout in Richmond with a protest starting at Brown’s Island and ending at the Virginia State Capitol.
The protest is not only to advocate for gun reform, but to also honor victims of past shootings most notably Columbine High School. This Friday will be 19 years since the Littleton, Colorado shooting claimed the lives of 12 students and one teacher.
Douglas S. Freeman High School students Maxwell Nardi and Kennedy Mackey sent out a press release Monday morning highlighting the next steps the school’s student leaders have organized in order to keep the conversation on gun control going.
“We’re not protesting against the second amendment or the right to bear arms, rather we’re fighting for the common-sense measures which can save the thousands of lives taken every year by gun violence,” Nardi and Mackey said in the release.
At 10:00 am, students around the country and in Richmond will begin the walkout followed by the pre-rally at Brown’s Island, which will include a voter registration drive, a meet and greet with legislators, and speakers. At 1:00 pm, students, citizens, and others from across Virginia will march from Brown’s Island to the Virginia State Capitol and at 2:00 pm, the group will host their official rally on the steps of the State Capitol, featuring students, legislators, and leaders from across the state which according to the press release, will include Gov. Northam, Del. Chris Hurst, and student survivors and allies.
Nardi and Mackey hope to use this day as a day of remembrance, but also to keep the attention of a society that is constantly being thrown new information at a continuous rate. “It’s time for change. It’s time for action,” they stated in the release. “We’re fighting for fixes to gun violence in Richmond, Virginia, and our country. We’re fighting for a new era of consistent progress towards a better and safer future for every Virginian and every American.”