Summoned to action by student survivors of the Parkland school shooting, hundreds of thousands of teenagers and their supporters rallied in the nation's capital and cities across the US on Saturday to press for gun control, the AP reports. Organizers of the March for Our Lives rally in DC hoped their protest would match in numbers and spirit last year's women's march. Bearing signs reading "We Are the Change," ''No More Silence," and "Keep NRA Money Out of Politics," protesters packed Pennsylvania Avenue from the stage near the Capitol, stretching many blocks back toward the White House. "We will continue to fight for our dead friends," Delaney Tarr, a survivor of the Florida tragedy, declared from the stage. The crowd roared with approval as she laid down the students' central demand: a ban on "weapons of war" for all but warriors.
Large rallies also unfolded in such cities as Boston; New York; Chicago; Houston; Fort Worth, Texas; Minneapolis; and Parkland, the site of the Feb. 14 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead. The police presence was heavy as more than 20,000 people filled a park near the Florida school, chanting slogans such as "Enough is enough" and carrying signs that read "Why do your guns matter more than our lives?" and "Our ballots will stop bullets." Gun violence was fresh for some in the DC crowd: Ayanne Johnson of Great Mills High School in Maryland held a sign declaring, "I March for Jaelynn," honoring Jaelynn Willey, who died Thursday two days after being shot by a classmate at the school. "For our kids, feeling safe is fundamental, and they don't feel safe," said the mother of an 11-year-old marching in DC.