The Surveyor

Despite Blizzard, The March For Our Lives Rally Marches On.

Kaylea Staab, '19 (far left, green coat), Zac Moore, '19 (mid-left, Wash hat), and Isabel Hogg, '18 (center, green hat) among the crowd at the March For Our Lives Rally in downtown Cedar Rapids on March 24.

Becca Turnis, Web Editor

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“Gun Violence doesn’t take a day off and neither should we,” said Samantha Bennett, a Kennedy senior, during the March For Our Lives Rally on March 24. Dozens of students, parents, and community members braved blizzard conditions to rally in support of stricter gun laws in response to America’s mass shooting epidemic.

This rally was organized as a sister event to the March For Our Lives in Washington D.C. held by survivors of last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

After helping organize Wash’s walkout on Feb. 21, Walker Ochs, ’19, played a large role in putting the rally together. “I got a text message from Emma [Lassen, ’18] from Jefferson about coming to speak at this and then we just kind of hashed out the details, what we need to bring, what we need to do, and then we saw the weather forecast, and we knew we were gonna need to come early and shovel and clean things off. Thankfully we managed to do that,” said Ochs

Ochs, Bennett, Lassen, and Kevin Drahos, (’19 at Linn-Mar), all spoke at the event. The rally held significance for many attendees. “David [Hebrink] is our son, he’s a junior at Wash, and I teach at Franklin. We’re here because we support the students’ [grassroots] effort to end gun violence in our country. The people have to speak and this is one of the ways that we can show our persistence and our determination to have change in this country,” said John Hebrink.

The event was also special for students. “[Gun violence] has been an issue for so long and it’s so unnecessary. Every life lost [due to gun violence]  is just completely insane. There’s no reason for them to be lost. I feel like with the Parkland Massacre something really changed in people’s heads and with all the student’s activism, all these students speaking out,” said Ochs.

Turnout was surprisingly high despite the bitter cold. “I think that people braving the cold and coming out today in the blizzard weather shows how important this issue is and how determined we are to make a difference,” said Deann Hebrink.

The rally was also an opportunity, to get people registered to vote in the upcoming midterm elections. “I want to make sure our generation registers to vote so that we can vote everyone who doesn’t support this cause out of office and make some changes,” said Mae Harney, ’18.

The student leadership has inspired parents at the rally. “This generation gives me hope that when these kids are at the point where they can go to the ballot box and voice their opinions that they will do that and we’ll start to see some positive change,” said Jane Harney, Mae’s mother.

Organizers believe that this rally, along with the others happening simultaneously around the globe, is just the beginning. “This problem is turning into a movement, and I think it will become a revolution soon enough,” said Ochs.

Kaylea Staab, '19 (far left, green coat), Zac Moore, '19 (mid-left, Wash hat), and Isabel Hogg, '18 (center, green hat) among the crowd at the March For Our Lives Rally in downtown Cedar Rapids on March 24.
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Despite Blizzard, The March For Our Lives Rally Marches On.