ATLANTA, GA — Marchers in Atlanta will join hundreds of thousands of others in Washington D.C. and other cities this weekend calling for stricter gun control laws.
“March for Our Lives,” taking place on Saturday, March 24, is a rally in response to the slaying of 17 students and teachers at a Florida high school last month by a student armed with an AR-15. The marches, which were called for by student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, will include calls for increased gun control nationwide.
The Atlanta march is set to begin at 11 a.m. at the Center for Civil and Human Rights, located at 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. downtown. The Georgia Alliance for Social Justice — the group that sprang from the 2017 Women’s March in Atlanta — is helping organize the local event.
That group has set up an online store to help raise funds for the Atlanta march.
The march will go from the civil right center to Liberty Plaza, near the Georgia state capitol building. Student and adult leaders are expected to speak before and after the march, which will head south on Centennial Olympic Park Drive then east on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
On Tuesday, about 7,500 people had said they were going to the Atlanta march on its Facebook page, with another roughly 14,000 saying they are interested.
Saturday’s march gained renewed attention Tuesday as word spread nationwide about a Maryland school shooting about 65 miles from Washington, D.C. A student opened fire at Great Mills High School Tuesday morning in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. Two students suffered gunshots wounds, the shooter exchanged gunshots with a school resource officer, and the gunman was pronounced dead at an area hospital.
According to the national March For Our Lives website, there are 827 events planned worldwide. In metro Atlanta, smaller events in the area are listed, including (see website for details):
Cedar Grove High School, EllenwoodBenjamin E. Mays High School, AtlantaCovington Square, CovingtonOconee Veterans Park, Watkinsonville
Nationally, student organizers are planning the march, in collaboration with nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety and with the support of donors. Cameron Kasky, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, announced the march — along with his classmates — back on Feb. 18. It quickly snowballed.
The march has attracted financial support from celebrities, including Amal and George Clooney, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Steven Spielberg, who are the most significant donors ($500,000 each). Many other celebrities have offered support as well.
Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson, and Demi Lovato are expected to join the marchers in D.C.
PHOTO: Former Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine (L) marches with activists at the Florida State Capitol as they rally for gun reform legislation on Feb. 26, 2018 in Tallahassee, Florida. In the wake of the February 14 school shooting that left 17 people dead, hundreds of people joined the Parkland students to call for gun reform. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)