Protesting students look to turn outrage to action

  • Fairview Middle and High School students taking part in a national school walkout event to protest gun violence and honor shooting victims at Fairview High School in Fairview Township, Erie County, Pa., Friday April 20, 2018. As part of the event, most of the students walked twice around the Keck Field running track twice. Protests were planned across the country Friday, on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. (Christopher Millette/Erie Times-News via AP) Christopher Millette

  • Two rings of chairs encircle the words "NEVER AGAIN" in a silent protest on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting outside Trinity High School in Manchester, N.H., Friday, April 20, 2018. The inner ring chairs have names of the Columbine victims, the outer ring chairs have names of the Parkland High School shooting victims. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

  • Harvard University students observe a moment of silence during a protest against school shootings and gun violence on the steps of Widener Library on campus in Cambridge, Mass., Friday, April 20, 2018. Protests were planned across the country Friday, on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Michael Dwyer

  • Harvard University student Cecilia Nunez wears a Black Lives Matter earring during a rally against school shootings and gun violence on the steps of Widener Library on campus in Cambridge, Mass., Friday, April 20, 2018. Protests were planned across the country Friday, on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Michael Dwyer

  • Students, from left, Nariah Marzka, 14; Morgan Orelski, 15, and Travis Burge, 15, who joined about 500 students, leave leave Keck Field after taking part in a national school walkout event to protest gun violence and honor shooting victims at Fairview High School in Fairview Township, Erie County, Pa., Friday April 20, 2018. Protests were planned across the country Friday, on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. (Christopher Millette/Erie Times-News via AP) Christopher Millette

  • Aujanae Lightfoot creates a poster as students gathered at City Hall, Friday, April 20, 2108, in Long Beach, Calif., to take part in a national school walkout event to protest gun violence. Protests were held across the country Friday, on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. (Brittany Murray/Los Angeles Daily News via AP) Brittany Murray

  • Chloe Didawick, right, hugs Lydia Jenkinson after she shared gave emotional remarks to close out Friday's walkout at Berkeley Springs (W.Va.) High School, April 20, 2018. On Friday, in the latest wave of school walkouts, many students turned their attention to upcoming elections as they pressed for tougher gun laws and politicians who will enact them. Scores of rallies turned into voter registration drives. Students took to podiums to issue an ultimatum to their lawmakers. (C.J. Lovelace /The Herald-Mail via AP) C.J. Lovelace

  • Hundreds of students gathered Friday at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., to protest gun violence. ap photo

  • Hundreds of students gathered on the steps Friday, April 20, 2018, at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., to protest gun violence, part of a national high school walkout on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shootings. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) Jim Mone

  • Hundreds of students gather Friday, April 20, 2018, at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., to protest gun violence, part of a national high school walkout on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shootings. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) Jim Mone

  • U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, center, wait before taking the stage to address a high school rally calling for anti-gun laws, Friday April 20, 2018 in Washington Square Park, New York. Protests were held across the country Friday, on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) Bebeto Matthews

  • A protestor becomes tearful during a rally of high school students calling for anti-gun laws, Friday April 20, 2018 in Washington Square Park, New York. Protests were held across the country Friday, on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) Bebeto Matthews

  • High school students protest during a rally calling for anti-gun laws, Friday April 20, 2018, in Washington Square Park, New York. Protests were held across the country Friday, on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) Bebeto Matthews

Associated Press
Published: 4/20/2018 9:10:19 PM

Once again, they filed out of class. In a new wave of school walkouts, they raised their voices against gun violence. But this time, they were looking to turn outrage into action.

Many of the students who joined demonstrations across the country Friday turned their attention to upcoming elections as they pressed for tougher gun laws and politicians who will enact them. Scores of rallies turned into voter registration drives. Students took the stage to issue an ultimatum to their lawmakers.

“We want to show that we’re not scared. We want to stop mass shootings and we want gun control,” said Binayak Pandey, 16, who rallied with dozens of students outside Georgia’s Capitol in Atlanta. “The people who can give us that will stay in office, and the people who can’t give us that will be out of office.”

All told, tens of thousands of students left class Friday for protests that spread from coast to coast. They filed out at 10 a.m. to gather for a moment of silence honoring the victims of gun violence. Some headed to nearby rallies. Others stayed at school to discuss gun control and register their peers to vote.

Organizers said an estimated 150,000 students protested Friday at more than 2,700 walkouts, including at least one in each state, as they sought to sustain a wave of youth activism that drove a larger round of walkouts on March 14. Activists behind that earlier protest estimated it drew nearly 1 million students.

HeadCount, a nonprofit group that registers voters at music events, said 700 people had signed up to vote through its website during the past week. That’s up from just 10 people in the same period last year.

Friday’s action was planned by a Connecticut teenager, Lane Murdock, after a gunman stormed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, leaving 17 people dead. It was meant to coincide with the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Col.

The focus on the November elections reflects a shift after activists gained little immediate traction in Washington — and prospects for their influence remain uncertain.




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