Emma Gonzalez, one of the students of the Florida school shooting, observed minutes of silence in a speech which took the exact time it took the gunman to kill 17 people.
The emotional speech, which took place at the March For Our Lives rally, lasted exactly 6 minutes and 20 seconds.
Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered in towns and cities across the country in support of the anti-gun message.
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School organised the event after a former student opened fire and killed 17 students in February.
Since the attack, students from the school have worked together – along with the help of many prominent politicians and celebrities – to organise these historic marches.
Chief among these students is Emma Gonzalez, whose powerful speech resonated for the exact time it took the killer to shoot her schoolmates.
In part of the speech, Emma said:
Six minutes and about 20 seconds. In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us, 15 were injured and everyone – absolutely everyone – in the Douglas community was forever altered.
Everyone who was there understands, everyone who has been touched by the cold grip of gun violence understands.
— Anthony Wright (@aewright) March 24, 2018
The marches are taking place in dozens of cities across the USA including New York, Miami, Houston, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh – as well as one in London.
There are also rallies in nations such as Israel, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Belgium, India, France and Chile, according to NBC News.
Emma herself has estimated that there are a total of 800 marches occurring in total, with even one happening in Antarctica.
— vp ¯_(ツ)_/¯ ?️? (@vasoplatiss) March 24, 2018
Samantha Goldberg, another student at Stoneman Douglas, said this as she was walking to the rally:
To anybody who thinks their voice doesn’t matter, it does. Every single voice comes together and makes a huge impact.
This is just the beginning. This march is the first step in a long process, but ultimately there’s going to be a huge change. I mean, there’s not half a million people here for nothing.
I want stricter background checks. I want no assault rifles. No one should have access to an AR-15. It doesn’t make sense.
An 18-year-old boy shouldn’t have been able to go to the store and buy a gun and come shoot up my school.
11-Year-Old Naomi Wadler @ #MarchForOurLives:
"I am here to acknowledge and represent the African American girls whose stories don't make the front page…
"who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential.” pic.twitter.com/xOOSKMElgb
— Chris Strider (@stridinstrider) March 24, 2018
Speaking at the main rally in Washington are twenty student speakers who have all survived mass shootings.
The march was also a way to mark the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr 50 years ago as a result of gun violence.
In attendance at the march was King’s granddaughter, Yolanda Renee King, whose updated ‘I have a dream speech’ resonated with the crowd.
— Christina Ferrante (@rememberthe1) March 24, 2018
My grandfather had a dream that his four children would not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream that enough is enough and that this should be a gun free world. Period.
The main march in Washington is heading down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House.
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