2018 March for Our Lives
The 2018 Women's March on Washington was a coordinated national demonstration for reform of U.S. gun controls held on Saturday March 24, 2018, 38 days after a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Surviving students from that school organized for school walkouts and mass demonstrations in numerous social media posts and major media appearances.
Approximately 5,000 people assembled at Railroad Park and marched through downtown Birmingham, joining with the main march of over 800,000 people in Washington D.C. and as many as 750 rallies and marches in cities throughout the United States and around the world. Major themes of the march included respecting the safety concerns of school students; supporting laws restricting ownership and use of firearms, especially of powerful semi-automatic rifles often used in mass shooting; and countering the political influence of the National Rifle Association. The fact that high school students have been leaders in the resurgent movement demonstrated a heightened political awareness among young people, many of whom took the opportunity to register as voters and to pledge to vote out any politician taking NRA money in coming elections.
The rally in Birmingham began in Railroad Park at 2:00 PM. The Steel City Men's Chorus opened the rally with a song. Featured speakers included student organizers Ashley Causey, Phousith Souphithavong J’Corion Johnson, Satura Dudley and Kat Walton; as well as Representative Terri Sewell; 1963 Children's Crusade veteran Gwendolyn Cook Webb; activist Erica Starr Robins and educators Richard Franklin and Ben Osborne.
The march itself followed a loop from the 17th Street park plaza east to 18th Street South, through the 18th Street underpass to 1st Avenue North, then west four blocks to 14th Street North, and south back to 1st Avenue South and back to the plaza. The march was led by 19 students. Seventeen of them, representing the victims of the Parkland shooting, wore red. Another, wearing purple, walked for Courtlin Arrington, who was 2018 Huffman High School shooting on March 7. The last, wearing green, represented Nancy Swift, killed in the 2018 UAB Highlands shooting on March 14. Marchers chanted "Not one more," and "Vote them out!" along the route.
Organizations participating in the demonstration included Students Demand Action, Moms Demand Action, and Forward Alabama.
- Crain, Trisha Powell (March 25, 2018) "Birmingham's March for Our Lives 2018 a success, student organizers say" The Birmingham News
- Kennedy, Joey (March 26, 2018) "‘We call BS!’ Young people not playing around with guns". Alabama Political Reporter