Thousands participate in local March for Our Lives events
David Lynch and Joy Wang
March 24, 2018 10:21 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Under a clear blue sky thousands of New Mexican activists, adults and children marched from Old Town Plaza to Tiguex Park off Mountain Road to demand safer schools and gun reform Saturday morning.
Organizers of the local March for Our Lives estimated there were 8,000 and 9,000 participants as many of those demonstrators – many of them toting anti-NRA signage – were still slowly filing into the park around 11 a.m.
Demonstrators led those around them in various chants during the march to the park from Old Town, including "Vote them out!" and "Hey hey, ho ho, the NRA has got to go."
Some of the march's main organizers included an Albuquerque-area high school student, a UNM freshman and a Native American Community Academy student. They said they all met online with similar goals: To make sure their voices were heard, to make sure change would happen and to make sure students across the country would not be afraid to go to school.
At the park, march organizers emphasized they are not advocating for a ban on all firearms, calling that an unreasonable goal. Instead, they say, they were seeking to put an end to a pattern of apathy on the parts of lawmakers and community members that follow school shootings.
"Contrary to popular belief, our goal isn't to take away all your guns. That isn't the case," Jonathon Juarez-Alonzo said. "If you're a responsible gun owner, you should be fine with more regulations because you know guns are too easy to purchase."
The timing of the march strikes a particular chord in New Mexico, as it comes less than four months after a gunman disguised as a student opened fire in the halls of Aztec High School, fatally shooting two before taking his own life.
While the march was about reform, organizers told KOB they also wanted to remind members of the younger generation – many of whom will soon turn voting age – that they have a voice. Tables were set up at the park to get those unregistered individuals registered to vote for the general election later this year.
"These kids are going to be running for office. We want these kids on campaigns. We want these kids being campaign managers," Dave Mulryan said. "We have got to bring politics front-and-center. These kids are going to be able to do it."
David Lynch and Joy Wang
Updated: March 24, 2018 10:21 PM
Created: March 24, 2018 12:13 PM
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