Tomorrow, February 14th, marks exactly one year since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The massacre left 17 dead and incited the March For Our Lives fight for gun control. Now, as the anniversary of the Parkland tragedy approaches, the movement’s organizers will go dark on social media out of respect for the victims.
Mashable reports that the March For Our Lives’ social media blackout will take place from February 14th through the 17th. During these three days, organizers will also refuse any media interviews. Adam Alhanti, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the director of special projects for March For Our Lives, told the website that the team had decided the social media blackout would be “a chance for us to look back at our community and for us to give ourselves time and really allow the victims’ voices to take the microphone.” He added that it would also be a welcome break for him and his fellow activists.
According to The Guardian, in the year since the Parkland shooting, March For Our Lives has established almost 200 chapters across the U.S. In March 2018, the Washington, D.C. protest organized by the students drew about 800,000 attendees and inspired more than 800 smaller marches. The movement has also inspired student walkouts, and in June, the team embarked on the March For Our Lives: Road to Change, a 20-state bus tour designed to register young people to vote. And their advocacy seems to be working. According to the Giffords Law Center, 67 gun safety bills were signed into law in 2018.
We’re in awe of all that the March For Our Lives activists have done, and we will continue to stand with them as they fight to end gun violence.