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Local High School Students Organize 'March for Our Lives' in Syracuse to Protest Gun Violence

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March For Our Lives Syracuse

The students organizing a Syracuse march to protest recent school shootings are trying to make sure their message includes ending all local gun violence.  The young people behind Saturday’s ‘March for our Lives’ also plan to keep their activism going long after it’s over.

These four CBA 11th graders couldn’t escape news of the Parkland Florida shooting.  Ashwarya Vara-Kantam felt directly connected.

 “I realized that it could happen anywhere because the kids from Parkland didn’t expect it to happen to them. Just because we go to private school doesn’t mean we’re immune to stuff that could happen to any other school. We could go through just as much as they did, or even worse.”

They heard about the March for our Lives in Washington and took it on themselves to get active here.  As they started organizing, Rachel Krul was hearing stories of other gun violence in Syracuse, and wants the protest to speak to all victims

“It shouldn’t matter if someone is in school, a movie theater, a mall, or any other public place because no one deserves to be a victim of gun violence: no matter where they are, their age, their race, whether they’re a student or an adult. And, I think, although the Parkland shooting happened in a school, that doesn’t mean that this march is just about gun violence in schools.”

They feel, as Philly LaTorre explains, that they’re the voices of those from Sandy Hook and too many other tragic school shootings.

“It honestly sucks having to hear that news all the time. You’d think there’d be change after so many deaths, but nothing has happened. And I think that seeing that they were kids our age and then seeing them speaking out. That made us realize that we can all come together and try to stop this.”

To Jessa Davidson, Saturday’s march is just a start to increased activism by young people who hope to see more action in communities, in local and state governments and congress.

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Jessa Davidson talks about political awareness, Rachel Krul talks about the goals and demands of the march and about shooter preparedness, Aishwarya talks about shooter preparedness and Philly Latorre talks about mental health.

 “We want to keep this momentum of this march going.  Later on we’ll keep fighting for our local community in Syracuse and these inner city kids and the places that are most effected by gun violence in our home town, and help them continue to get as much justice as possible.”

More than 4,000 have indicated they’re going or interested on a Facebook page.  Marchers will go from the Everson Museum to the Federal Building. The demonstration starts at noon.