A rally in Toronto that brought out hundreds was just one of many happening across North America as part of the #MarchForOurLives movement, a campaign started by students in the U.S. following a shooting at a Florida high school six weeks ago.
A female student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, who wanted to be known as “anonymous” came to Toronto to speak at the rally on Saturday.
READ MORE: Montrealers march for stricter gun control
“Today, I don’t represent myself, I represent my school. This isn’t my battle, alone. This is the entire community,” she said.
The student said recalled the day of the shooting, calling it “chaos.”
“There was fear. There were tears. I heard people calling their parents and telling them goodbye for what they thought was their last time,” she said.
The events pushed her to participate in the rally to get the message to U.S. lawmakers to limit access to firearms.
“My friend was shot four times. Our prom dates became pallbearers. Our friends were murdered in front of us and our innocence has been taken,” she told the crowd.
“I’m not here to take away all of your guns, but these assault rifles. Assault rifles do not belong in our streets. They do not belong in my high school.”
The march started at Nathan Phillips Square at 10 a.m. and protesters walked up University Avenue to Queen’s Park, stopping for a moment of silence at the U.S. embassy, reading out the names of the victims from Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
Evelyn Fox lost her son Kiesinger Gunn on Sept. 11, 2016, and said there needs to be better gun control in Canada, as well as the U.S.
“The fact is, in the past three years, the gun violence has escalated and nobody – not one single person in power – has acknowledge this issue,” she said, adding she is still coping with the loss of her son.
“It doesn’t just affect the family. It affects anyone who has had interaction with him and associated with him. Everyone has a grieving process through someone who is taken.”
Fox was joined by her two daughters — Gunn’s sisters — at the rally as well.
“It makes you sad. It makes you realize this is my life and this is my reality and this is what I have to deal with for the rest of my life,” said Davyne Duncan, Gunn’s younger sister.
The crowd of protesters are hoping the rally sparks change and mobilizes politicians in the U.S. to tighten up gun laws.
“There needs to be a push back,” said Gabriela Martinez, a participant in the march.
“I think any time you want change there needs to be resistance.”
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