A March for Our Lives protest took place at the Harvey Milk Promenade Park in Long Beach on Saturday, June 11 from 12-2 p.m.
The protest started at the park and then traveled down 3rd Street to the Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse in what was a mile loop march.
The march is one of the estimated 450 protests that took place on Saturday across the country. The day of protests is a culmination of several mass shootings that took place this year, one of them most recently being the Robb Elementary School shooting on May 24, in Uvalde, Texas where 19 students and two teachers were killed.
Several people took to the stage at the park to make speeches. Tal Minear, the organizer of the event, spoke about the issues of the lack of gun control and the urgent need for change and reform.
“Whether it’s a mass shooting at a club, a church, synagogue, grocery store, or spa—women, people of color, queer folks, and other marginalized groups are shot and killed as retribution for existing,” Minear said.
Ten black people were shot and killed at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York on May 14, in what was declared a racially motivated attack.
Minear states that there is a solution to stop mass shootings from occurring as well as decreasing gun violence as a whole.
“That solution is strong gun safety laws,” Minear said. “In states where elected officials have taken action, fewer people die by gun violence. Laws that required background checks on all gun sales, disarmed domestic abusers, or have stopped kids from accessing firearms are all proven to save lives.”
Another protester at the event, Paris, read a poem aloud that he wrote about the impact of gun violence.
“Politicians shove these problems away unseen, letting adults kill children with an AR-15,” Paris said. The poem continued with, “And ‘he was misguided. We stand a nation under God, unapologetically divided. So sit down and ask yourself, ‘what do you stand for?’ 27 school shootings and it’s something we cannot ignore.”
Around 300 people gathered for the protest, ranging from all ages and backgrounds. Numerous cars drove by the group of protesters and honked repeatedly in solidarity with the movement.
Many protests held signs as they marched down 3rd street. “Am I next?”, “make murder more difficult”, and “protect lives not guns”, are a few of the many phrases that protesters wrote on their signs to demonstrate their stance on the issue of mass shootings and lack of gun control.
For more information on the March for Our Lives movement, follow this link