We All March

Kiya Kirkland, Staff Writer

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On Feb 14, 2018, a day meant to celebrate the love in the air, disaster made an appearance in the halls of Stoneman Douglas High School. Seventeen innocent people lost their lives to a senseless act of gun violence, which then sparked the ongoing debate of gun reform.  

Survivors of the Florida massacre became the voice of change and were unrelenting. They orchestrated the March for Our Lives, which took our nation by storm. By taking to social media, the students gained the attention of hundreds of thousands of people from around the nation, who later joined them on the streets of Washington DC, with hopes that the government was paying close attention to their anger and need for change.  

They marched down the streets of Washington DC, raising their voices and posters high, demanding a change. Under the careful watch of local police officers, citizens exercised their first amendment right unharmed, which can’t be said for most protests against gun violence. 

After the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri rallies sparked throughout the nation, urging the American people to question the safety of African American citizens.  

And unlike the March for Our Lives, these protests took a violent and chaotic turn.  

Facing police officers armed with rifles, batons and bullet proof vests, Ferguson citizens yelled in anger and urged for justice. Though there were violent protesters rightly arrested, there were also peaceful protesters arrested as well, and labeled as unruly.  

Hours before Ferguson’s imposed curfew, officers armed themselves with gas masks, throwing tear gas at citizens present at the demonstrations. With the burning in their eyes, protesters attempted to flee the scene, but most were stopped and arrested. 

African American citizens of all ages experience tragedies due to guns and have been fighting for gun control for decades but get arrested and tear gassed and are told that their voices don’t matter. 

But a group of white students experience that same tragedy, but are given justice, a platform and protection.  

See the irony? 

Yes, not all protests in the black community are as peaceful as the Parkland protests, but some are just as peaceful, yet our voices are silence and we’re labeled as unruly thugs. We’ve been fighting the same fight for years and been unsuccessful because of our race. 

We all march, but the people that are leading the march determines whether the march has a positive police presence or if the march will lead to the arrests of the protesters. 

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We All March