Student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were in Jacksonville Friday for a midday March For Our Lives block party at The Jacksonville Landing.
Called Road to Change: Jacksonville, their goal was to promote gun violence prevention and encourage students and young people to make their voices heard.
About 100 people had gathered at The Landing by noon.
The rally, and a forum Friday evening at the University of North Florida, are part of a nationwide student voter-registration drive by students at Parkland Fla.’s MSD High School, where one of their classmates took the lives of 17 of their peers and faculty members on February 14.
“We’re out here connecting with people, talking with people, sharing everybody’s story… and then registering people to vote so that come November in elections we can make legislative change happen,” said Kaelan Kindy, one of the leaders of March For Our Lives Jacksonville.
The students were available to answer questions on their experiences with gun violence and the March For Our Lives movement.
Tom Bergan, a voter registration coordinator with the movement, said Friday’s events are not about party or issues. “I think it’s really important for everyone to have their voices heard, regardless of opinion or what they’re passionate about because there's this saying ‘Democracy only works when it works for everyone.”
Peyton Lescher is a Jacksonville student and March For Our Lives advocate who attended Friday’s Landing rally. “Fighting for what’s right, people in general shouldn’t have to go to school afraid. Kids shouldn’t have to walk the streets afraid. There’s no reason for these senseless gun laws that can be fixed with a simple vote,” said Lescher.
“We are a part of the community, we are the future generation and what’s to come in America, so it’s important that we’re heard,” said Adrena Forrest, a student activist with March For Our Lives Jacksonville.
Additional information about the movement is available at marchforlives.com.