Thousands join 'March For Our Lives' across Bay Area

Organizers of the national march have continued their calls for comprehensive gun reform, including bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, since a gunman killed 17 students and faculty members at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

In Hazleton, children, teenagers and adults met at the Hazleton One Community Center and began the walk to the downtown area at noon. "We will cause change".

Thousands of people poured into San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza Saturday afternoon for the March For Our Lives rally, one of many events across the USA calling lawmakers to combat what organizers say is an epidemic of gun violence. Broadway stars Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt released a charitable song in honor of March For Our Lives earlier this week, and they're confirmed to perform it together Saturday as well.

Meanwhile, the White House praised the numerous demonstrations held across the U.S. in favour of greater gun control, mostly organised by students, which brought nearly a million people into the streets.

In a showing of support not seen in decades, dozens of Manhattan blocks were shut down as protesters of all ages marched through the city, with many of them angry at the influence of the National Rifle Association lobby group.

But they're small steps compared with the 1994 assault-weapons ban that lapsed in 2004.

According to the group, "There is no amount of infringement" on the Second Amendment that will stop evil. On the other side of the debate, gun rights advocates cite constitutional guarantees of the right to bear arms.

Stephanie Wellek made the trip from California to speak at the march. It will kick off at noon, when participants gather on Pennsylvania Avenue, just blocks away from the Capitol.

"She's with friends from school, and they're going to march on Saturday down the streets of Prague", her mother, Audrey Diaz, said.

In Kansas City, a march is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Theis Park. If you can't attend, you can watch the live stream in the video player above.

To close out the rally, Emma Gonzalez, one of the Parkland survivors who has become one of the main faces of this movement, delivered an impassioned speech in which she named each of the 17 victims. Kim Kardashian, Nick Offerman, George Clooney, Cynthia Nixon, Laura Dern, Willow and Jaden Smith and David and Jeffrey Katzenberg joined students at the march across the nation.

"I am here today to acknowledge and represent the African American girls whose stories don't make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don't lead the evening news", Naomi, 11, said as the crowd cheered.

Marchers are also expecting other celebrities to attend the event. Representatives for the singers have not confirmed their plans to CNN.

"I was always afraid to use my voice because I didn't think I was old enough, or people wouldn't think I knew what I was talking about". They raised $2,350 through a Gofundme campaign to cover those expenses.

Wadler's wisdom despite her youth touched many others as well, including author Michael Eric Dyson who posted about her and her speech on social media. Each of them donated $500,000 to the event's fund last month. And since the Parkland School shooting, there have been four more school shootings in the United States.

  • Rosalie Stanley