By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Young students and gun control advocates participated in the March For Our Lives on the Upper West Side this past Saturday, calling on Congress to pass stricter gun laws. Mayor Bill de Blasio posted on Twitter following the march that 175,000 New Yorkers had participated in the protest.
The rally prior to the official march along Central Park West to Columbus Circle included survivors from the Parkland shooting, as well as survivors from the Las Vegas and Sandy Hook shootings. Volunteers for the march were also wandering through the crowd encouraging participants, especially high school students about to turn 18, to register to vote and helping them fill out the appropriate paperwork.
District 2 City Councilmember Carlina Rivera participated in the March with other members of City Council, although District 4 City Councilmember Keith Powers was unable to attend due to a conflict. US Senator Charles Schumer participated in the New York march and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand attended the March in Washington, DC with her two young sons.
Congressmember Carolyn Maloney attended the rally near Columbus Circle and marched with high school students and advocates along Central Park West.
“The passion, clarity and commitment of tens of thousands of students marching for rational gun safety reforms showed the future of progressive leadership is in good hands,” Maloney said of the protest. “They have awoken this nation to the need to break the stranglehold the National Rifle Association has over Republicans in Congress. Change is coming and the students are leading the way.”