On Saturday 24 March 2018 thousands upon thousands of people descended to the streets in a worldwide show of protest against gun violence. Led by a group of high schoolers who survived the recent Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, the youth movement is demanding American gun reform, requesting the government introduce stricter gun laws that will aim to palliate the country’s apparent fixation with the second amendment.
In a powerful display of unity, intersectional protest and democratic public action, a host of celebrities joined the masses to support the growing movement. In New York City, Paul McCartney marched in emotional remembrance of his late friend and Beatles bandmate John Lennon, who was fatally shot outside of his apartment on December 8, 1980. “One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here,” McCartney said during the march.
George and Amal Clooney, who donated $500,000 to the survivors of the Stoneman shooting, joined the march in Washington, D.C. The actor penned a letter, published in The Guardian, addressed to the Stoneman survivors, sharing, “Amal and I are 100% behind you.”
Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato were among the celebrities who performed at a rally in Washington. Many stars, such as Amy Schumer, Will Smith, Justin Timberlake and Madonna, took to social media to share powerful messages of support for the movement. Actress Amy Poehler has also been an outspoken activist for the cause, she shared on Instagram, “We stand with you, young people. I applaud your bravery and your incredible poise, and the fire that you have started will not go out. It will only get stronger, and we will help fan the flames.”
President Trump has yet to acknowledge the widespread protest, in an unusual act of denial in the face of such powerful public action. The student-led movement has yet to be deterred by his silence. In the wake of such bold demonstration, we, along with so many, hope for a governmental response that will work towards ending gun violence.