In response to rampant gun violence—most notably the horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, which killed 17 high schoolers—students and activists will come together on Saturday, March 24 as part of the March For Our Lives movement. Denver will host just one of more than 830 worldwide events, and approximately 15,000 demonstrators, including 3,000 students, are expected to gather in Civic Center Park. The rally and march was organized by the newly formed nonprofit Never Again Colorado.
The March For Our Lives event is not an effort to abolish the second amendment or to strip gun owners of their firearms, says Tay Anderson, demonstration organizer and board president of Never Again Colorado. Instead, the March For Our Lives is designed to advocate for “passing sensible gun regulation” that will make students in Colorado—and across the country—safer.
Students will assemble in Civic Center Park on Saturday around 1 p.m. and a rally will begin at 2 p.m. Leading the rally will be several community members who have been impacted by shootings, including those who lost family members in the Columbine High School and Aurora theater shootings. Maddy King, a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who survived last month’s shooting in Florida, will also be speaking. Following the rally, the students and activists will march in a one-mile loop (S. Broadway, 17th, Welton, 15th streets) and return to Civic Center Park where Anderson will speak and close out the event.
Anderson and his team of young activists began organizing the demonstration shortly after the Parkland shooting in February and over the past month have raised nearly $30,000 with which they plan to bus students into Denver for the event. Though it’s tough to predict how many will turn out, Anderson says he’s expecting busses with students to arrive from the University of Colorado Boulder, Regis University, North High School, as well as from several other Front Range schools. The event’s official Facebook page shows 10,000 attendees are confirmed and another 25,000 who are interested in attending.
While the focus of the March For Our Lives is on the students, Anderson says the “peaceful movement that’s ready to ignite students all around the state” is open to everybody. Additionally, Never Again Colorado—which he says is a nonpartisan organization—is organizing a Young People’s Summit for summer 2018, during which young leaders and activists will be invited to come together and exchange ideas about a better future for Colorado.