CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) – Hundreds of South Floridians came together this weekend to call for an end to gun violence, as they took part in “March for Our Lives” events that drew thousands across the country. country.
From Parkland and Weston to Coral Gables, protesters made their voices heard loud and clear on Saturday.
“We need to keep our students safe,” said a woman at the Parkland event.
Zoe Weissman, 16, director of March for Our Lives Parkland, said she felt compelled to be part of the change.
“We just want people to realize that we’re still here. We will not stop fighting until we achieve full gun violence prevention,” she said.
Weissman was at West Glades Middle School, located next to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, when the mass shooting happened on February 14, 2018.
With so many more showing up this weekend despite rainy weather, Weissman and other organizers want to pressure lawmakers to change.
Also present was Debbie Hixon, who lost her husband in the Parkland Massacre.
“We can do better and we deserve better,” she said. “The universal background checks, the red flag laws, the idea that we keep guns out of reach of people who are known to want to harm themselves or others.”
Passionate pleas were also heard in Weston, where hundreds more gathered.
“It affects everyone. No matter your age, gender, religion, whatever it is, it affects everyone,” said organizer Gowri Abhinand, “so it is important to really tackle this It’s not about party lines, it’s about coming together to find a solution.
In Coral Gables, a large crowd gathered outside City Hall, where a rally continued late Saturday afternoon. Between 200 and 300 people are estimated to be present.
Speakers included Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, students and activists.
After the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, protesters are hoping this will be the tipping point for gun reform.
“We need you to vote for lawmakers who believe in what the general population of the United States believes,” Hixon said, “which is that we can do better and we deserve better.”
“It means a lot to see how many people care about our mission. At the same time, it also gives me hope that we’re going to be able to make a change,” Weissman said.
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