#NeverAgain Movement Leads Powerful March to the State Capitol

Over 3,000 protesters gathered in Tallahassee, FL on Wednesday, February 21st to rally for the #NeverAgain movement in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead. 

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As the morning progressed, the crowd filled with people from all over South Florida wielding signs and shouting protests until it was finally time to march to the State Capitol.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum had some powerful words to share before he led 700 Florida State and Leon High School students to march from Wescott Fountain on the FSU campus to the State Capitol.

“And now what we have today are young people speaking out all across this state, all across this country,” Gillum said. “With the power of their voice, the power of their compassion, the power of their ideas, the power of their spirit that say enough is enough!”

Once the march reached the steps of the building, several survivors of the Parkland shooting courageously  addressed the massive crowd and demanded change from their states lawmakers. Sheryl Acquaroli bravely called out Congress while she spoke on the steps of the State Capitol building. “Dear Congress,” Ms. Acquaroli yelled, “how can you claim to stand for the people but let your kids get slaughtered like animals in their own school?”

“The next person who dies because of an AR-15,” she said, “will be on you.”

 Marchers also had a message for lawmakers as they shouted “this is what democracy looks like!” and held up moving signs that  said things like "Am I Next?" and "Never Again."

 While the thousands of #NeverAgain supporters valiantly protested gun violence in their state Capitol, students who  could not make it to the rally were showing their support from home.

At Coral Springs High School in South Florida students walked out and formed an enormous heart on the football field. They then walked to Stoneman Douglas High School, which is about five miles away, where they met with a thousand other students  showing their support. 

Christopher Lormeus, 18, had walked from Coconut Creek High School, six miles away. He explained that him and his peers were there for those who couldn't be. “Seventeen lives are more important than gun rights,” he said.

The walkout protests led by students were not only taking place in South Florida. Students all over the state were showing their support for the victims of the tragic Parkland Shooting.

In Tampa, Florida, students walked out of their classrooms and sat in silence for 17 minutes to pay respects to the 17 lives lost. 

Students at Needville High School were not so lucky as their principal threatened a three-day suspension to anyone who chose to  walk out. Many lawyers took twitter saying they would represent any students “pro-bono” that got suspended for exercising their First Amendment rights by protesting. 

The Parkland shooting has sparked a movement led by the youth, which is what this country needed more than anything. This rally in Tallahassee, as well as the protests happening all around the country, will not stop soon. In fact, this seems like only the beginning.