MARCH FOR OUR LIVES—ATLANTA
March 24, 2018
“I hid in a closet Feb. 14. and I’m not hiding anymore. I’m not hiding from my government, not hiding from the NRA, not hiding from guns. And most of all I am not hiding from change.”
Carly Novell, Parkland High survivor
30,000 in Atlanta, millions across the world, marched today in protest of gun violence. I was with them, as were seven other seniors, and hordes of young people, teachers, parents, and families with strollers, many waving signs.
The students of Parkland, FL, organized the march and quite likely launched a movement with their passion and articulate pleas. Two of the survivors of the Parkland High shooting spoke in Atlanta today.
Carly Novel said before the shooting she was worried about a test in math, her crush and prom dresses. Now she worries if her friends are mentally stable enough and about the future of our country.
Atlanta students spoke, or sang or read their poetry. With the
helicopters flying overhead, I could’t hear all the presentations or names but did hear Chamblee and Podeia mentioned. All eloquent and full of heat and drive. To me, these students have a better grasp of democracy and how it works in our country than all too many of our present elected officials.
Many of them are old enough to vote now. Others registered today or will as soon as they reach eighteen. I have no doubt they’ll remember the empty promises and cold rebuffs they’ve experienced and will challenge with ballot box power.
Also, as these teens are being held up as leaders and compared with the Childrens Crusade of the civil rights era and later the antiwar protestors of the Vietnam War, I think of the short-sighted school officials of Cobb County with their heads in the sand who intimidated and penalized students in their school system rather than see the lesson in democracy before them. Shame on the Cobb County school officials and all others who shut down their students’ voices.
This day began for me at Brookhaven Marta Station, 10 a.m. Lines from every ticket kiosks, 20-25 people in each,
extending into the street. Those with tickets in lines to go through the gates. Other seniors like our group of eight, families with strollers, school groups with signs. This station is nearer the north end of the line than downtown, yet when the train arrived, it was already jam-packed so that we had to squeeze aboard.
The same at every station and on the streets enroute to the Civil Rights Center.
Photos fshow the people, signs, and sentiment of the Atlanta March today.