by Isha Lele
After each shooting, I could not help but feel helpless. The lives of those most vulnerable were being taken, but what was I, a 17-year old girl in high school, supposed to do about it? Feelings of overwhelming frustration and powerlessness haunted me as CNN alerts bombarded my phone, day after day.
It was not until the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School demanded national reform that hope finally encroached on my pessimistic outlook. “Enough is enough!” they cried on every newspaper, news channel, and social media platform imaginable. My faith was restored in my generation, but more importantly, my faith was restored in change.
I was honored to witness what was going on around me. However, I also knew a movement restricted to the borders of a small suburban city was not enough. I decided that I was no longer going to grumble about my miniscule political power but rather build my voice alongside the voices of others.
I, along with a group of high school students from Solon and Shaker schools, have organized the Cleveland chapter of “March for Our Lives”, a national march and movement on March 24th in response to our country’s failure to create promising change whilst addressing the issue of gun violence. When we saw that no chapter had been initiated in Cleveland, we were quick to fill out a parade request. It is crucial that each city address this problem because each city is affected by it.
The march will take place on Saturday, March 24th from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Public Square. There will be speakers, including students, politicians, and activists from around the state. The route of the march includes important political landmarks such as City Hall, Senator Rob Portman’s office, and multiple court buildings.
There are currently almost eleven thousand people who have either promised to attend or marked that they are interested in going to the event. We need as many voices as possible so if you are interested and believe in this cause, please visit our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1648185068593945/
T-shirts and other gear are on sale to support the cause as well. All proceeds assist institutions affected by school shootings: https://www.bonfire.com/cleveland-march-for-our-lives/
If you are unable to attend the march, there are still many ways to support this movement. One way to do something right now is by texting “LIVES” to 64433 to sign the “March for Our Lives/Everytown petition”, which demands stricter gun reform.
Kids are no longer helpless. Kids are not going to back down. I hope that every single one of you understands the power of your voice and chooses to use it for good.