Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Florida shooting: US high school students stage mass walkout

NB: Well done, students! I wish you solidarity from the entire world! Its soon going to be the 50th anniversary of May 1968, another time students movements shook the world. Keep it up! DS 
Students and school staff across the US are commemorating the Florida school shootings with a walkout, exactly one month after the killings. They are stopping lessons for 17 minutes in memory of the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Pupils at the school, which was targeted by a former student, hugged each other on the football field. 

Protest organisers accuse Congress of failing to tackle gun violence. The White House revealed a plan this week to deter school shootings which does not include President Donald Trump's repeated calls to raise the age for buying semi-automatic rifles to 21. Instead, it moves ahead with his controversial proposal to provide firearms training to school employees.

How is the protest unfolding? The walkouts began at 10:00 (10:00 EST is 14:00 GMT) across America's time zones. Organisers of the National School Walkout, who were also behind the Women's March in January 2017 against Mr Trump's inauguration, called on "students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies" to take part.

In Parkland, families and supporters applauded as thousands of students slowly marched on to the Stoneman Douglas school football field. School principal Ty Thompson called on them to stage the "biggest group hug". A large crowd of students from the Washington area gathered outside the White House holding signs reading "Protect People Not Guns" and chanting "Never again" and "Enough is enough". Some students also gathered at Capitol Hill where they were addressed by the Senate and House Democratic leaders, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

"We're all moved by your eloquence and your fearless insistence on action to prevent gun violence," Ms Pelosi told them. "Thank you for bringing your urgency to this fight, to the doorstep of America, the doorstep of the Capitol of the United States." Students in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, stood in a heart formation to pay tribute to the Parkland victims.

In New York, hundreds of students from Fiorello H LaGuardia High School - many dressed in orange, the colour of the gun-control movement - took to the streets of Manhattan. "Thoughts and prayers are not enough," read one sign. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also joined protesters for a symbolic "die-in" - lying down in a street in Lower Manhattan... read more: