By Nyesha Stone
It’s 2018 and America’s youth is showing the world how to use their voices in an impactful way. After the Parkland, FL shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, that killed 17 students and staff, students said enough is enough and decided to fight back.
March for Our Lives is a nationwide movement that was created by students that survived the shooting under the hashtag and name #neveragain. Students across the nation held their own versions of the march on March 24, to fight for stronger gun regulations to put an end to mass school shootings.
The largest march was in Washington D.C. with nearly 800,000 people in attendance, according to NBC news. Like the rest of the nation, Milwaukee had its own version with 12,000 people, according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
There wasn’t an age limit or race issue when it came to this march. Everyone came together for one reason: to keep the youth safe.
March participant and Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) student Alyssa Krieg said she just wants to feel safe.
“I don’t want to feel scared [and] I won’t be silenced,” said Krieg. “You can speak out and your thoughts will be valued.”
This was Krieg’s first march and she plans to continue participating in important matters because she understands the power of coming together, even if you’re considered a child.
The march started at the County Courthouse and ended at City Hall. There was music playing throughout the march unless a speaker was at the podium. Seventeen white bags with the names of the Parkland victims sat on the stairs of the county jail as the crowd chanted for change.
Speaker and Rufus King junior Tatiana Washington encouraged her peers to speak louder and for the adults to listen.
“What adults fail to realize, we are just getting started. Our age does not limit our power,” said Washington. “I am urging you to vote responsibly because we are scared for our lives.”
The entire march lasted around four hours with thousands of signs being lifted high in the air.
Matt Flynn, who is running for the office of Governor, said things won’t improve until legislature changes.
“As long as the Republicans are in power nothing’s going to change,” said Flynn.
There are three things that he says needs to happen before things get better: ban assault weapons, eliminate gun shows and better background checks.
Flynn isn’t the only person with power that agrees that change needs to happen when it comes to gun regulations.
Senior Vice President of the Milwaukee Bucks Alex Lasry says it’s time to stop listening to the adults and follow the youth.
“Look at what happens when we get all of the adults out the way and let the kids lead,” said Lasry. “What will the rest of us do now that we’ve been woken up?”
Some of the same students that participated in the march also attended another march four days later. Forty Wisconsin students marched 50 miles from Madison to Janesville, which is House Speak Paul Ryan’s hometown. The students called their movement 50 Miles More. It’s clear the youth are going straight to the people with power because that’s where change happens.
This isn’t the first-time youth have stood up for themselves, but this time, they won’t stop until change happens.