Hundreds of thousands of ralliers from across the world — including Maine — are expected to mobilize Saturday to call for an end to gun violence.
Like many historical actions urging social change, Saturday’s “March For Our Lives,” organized by survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, is being driven by young people.
“I don’t think anyone’s going to let up in my generation. Like, this is something as a whole we really feel very strongly about,” says Aurora Hodgdon, 15, a student at Sanford High School who is in D.C. with her grandmother to take part in the rally. “It happens so much in America you become desensitized to it, but this isn’t a normal thing around the world. There’s not regularly school shootings every week in any other country.”
Hodgdon’s grandmother, Michelle Hodgdon, 58, says while she remembers the very tail end of atomic bomb drills during the “duck and cover” Cold War years, she remembers her school years as relatively peaceful.
“To me it is mind boggling that we even have to talk about this. I don’t understand why it’s not an emergency situation, nationally,” she says.
Both say they want to see better laws in place to control the availability of deadly firearms.
More than 700 gatherings are taking place across the country, with dozens of solidarity marches planned across the world, on every continent except Antarctica.
In Maine, there are at least 15 planned rallies, including those in Bangor, Portland, Lewiston, Presque Isle and Bar Harbor.