Amherst Streets Flood with Protestors at March for Our Lives

On March 24, Amherst joined New York, Washington D.C., Boston and the rest of the United States to rally against gun violence. The protest began at 10 a.m. in Kendrick Park, where Amherst protestors walked to the town common. Kendrick Park was filled with hundreds of passionate teachers, children, parents, grandparents and students.

When marching through Amherst, community members sang songs, held signs high in the air, and chanted slogans like, "Enough is enough!" The desire for change was prominent, and it was clear that the issue was very important — to all sorts of people. 

Jialin Li, a student at the University of Massachusetts, expressed her concerns about her own security in light of recent shootings. “I feel unsafe going to events because of gun-violence issue," she said. "We must fight for change until Congress and the President listen.”

Protestor Brad Kooma said, “Federal law must be enacted by the presidency and not left to the states to make different gun regulation laws. The United States needs to come up with laws to protect all the people of the states.”

Once marchers arrived at the town common, speeches began. One speaker, Anne Thalheimer, spoke about her personal experience with gun violence at Bard College. Another speaker promoted the extreme risk protective order, a legislation that would temporarily prohibit individuals who pose a risk to society from possessing and purchasing guns.

The Raging Grannies, an activist group, sang anti-NRA songs as the crowd followed along. Chants included lines like, “At Parkland and at Chardon High, the guns come in ’tho we know not why, and so we grieve as our children die.”

 

Each of the speakers urged the crowd to vote. There were people registering others to vote at the rally. Voting is of the most important things to do as a citizen; it's important to choose the right people to represent your voice.

Katy Pow, a student attending the rally, said it well: “We should not keep quiet if something is wrong. The world will hear our words.”

All images courtesy of the author.