NEW YORK (CBSNework) – In the wake of several recent school shootings – including 10 killed in Santa Fe, Texas and 17 killed in Parkland, Florida – hundreds of young people hit the streets of New York City on Saturday to demand change.
They’re calling on lawmakers to stand up to gun violence and urging other young activists to join the cause.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, a crowd of hundreds, most wearing orange, gathered in a park on the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge, many holding photos or wearing T-shirts with the images of people lost.
They said they’re angry more has not been done to stop school shootings and other crimes where guns were used.
Carlin spoke with some young people there under the banner “Youth Over Guns.”
“We are the future, so we need our voices to be heard,” one said.
Among them was 17-year-old Felix Tager, a high school student from the Upper East Side.
“I don’t know how else to say it other than I’m kind of tired and also extremely happy,” he said. “I think I’m activated by the fact that we have a power, we have this voice and this ability with our democracy to speak up for what we think is wrong.”
Aalayah Eastmond, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, was also at the rally.
“No student should have to hide underneath their murdered classmate’s body to survive, but I was that student,” she said. “No student should have to go to school fearing for their lives, but we all are those students.”
The wear-orange weekend is rooted in tragedy, starting back in 2013 when a 15-year-old girl was shot and killed in Chicago, days after performing at former President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.
Saturday’s crowd marched to Foley Square in Manhattan. A lot of families made a day of it.
“I’m glad that my kids come with me,” one mother said.
“I think it’s great that people are doing this,” her daughter added.
“The kids could learn that when you grow up, not to shoot nobody,” said a boy.
Some drivers were held up by the marchers, and a few bystanders said the right to demonstrate should always be upheld but they didn’t agree with some of the messages they heard coming from the protesters.
“I think the laws are actually fine as they are,” said Brett Flaherty, of Torrington, Connecticut. “You can get all the guns off the streets you want, they are still going to get it out of other sources.”
The young people marching said they will continue to speak up about the cause they believe in — until and beyond they get the right to make their voices heard by voting.