The Students Who Survived Florida's Shooting Have Slammed Politicians' 'Pathetic' Response To The Massacre
19 February 2018, 17:46
"We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around."
Last week's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school has left the community of Parkland, Florida grieving, following the deaths of 17 students and members of staff.
Despite the freshness of these emotional wounds, students at the school are using their trauma and organising for change in a way we've never seen before.
Vigils and rallies took place over the weekend as student organisers continued to call for a change in US gun legislation.
Survivors of the shooting expressed frustration that this issue was being left to high school students instead of the adult legislators whose job it is to protect them.
"We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around," one student, Cameron Kasky told CNN.
“My message for the people in office is: you’re either with us or against us. We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around,” says Cameron Kasky, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS who survived the shooting https://t.co/XwazmdZ7Gm https://t.co/YgYpBNx07V— CNN (@CNN) February 19, 2018
Another student, Emma Gonzalez, earned headlines after challenging the "BS" surrounding the US gun debate.
Here’s the speech from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez at an anti-gun rally happening today in Fort Lauderdale https://t.co/CyfMnPDAvW // https://t.co/hgewZy4Cxf https://t.co/gssAmGczuH— Joshua Chavers (@JoshuaChavers) February 17, 2018
"The people in the government who are voted into power are lying to us, and us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and are prepared to call BS."
In a separate interview with CNN, fellow student organiser David Hogg asked, "If you can't get elected without taking money from child murderers, why are you running?"
This action and activism comes days after students were barricaded into their classrooms, fearing that they would never see their families or friends ever again. This group of grieving, traumatised, and vocal students are using this new found spotlight to make sure they are heard by politicians bullied into silence by contributions from the NRA.
People are calling these survivors brave, not only for making it out alive, but for being an example to their generation.
So proud of my generation right now.— Emilia (@PoliticalEmilia) February 18, 2018
We are the CHANGE we have been waiting for.
We ARE GOING to push for reform.
We ARE NOT going to accept only “thoughts and prayers” as a solution.
And if our government won’t help us, we’ll just have to do it ourselves. #MarchForOurLives
despite having our hearts ripped out of our chests. Despite losing our friends and coaches. Despite living through a nightmare. As students of Douglas, we are the voice of this generation. And I’ll be damned if anyone thinks they can silence us.— kyra (@longlivekcx) February 18, 2018
At the Stoneman Douglas shooting rally now: "You are responsible! You are responsible!" pic.twitter.com/RofuZwzM5Z— julieturkewitz (@julieturkewitz) February 17, 2018
The students are organising a march on Washington called 'March For Our Lives'.
A national school walk out has also been planned by another organisation to coincide with the anniversary of the Columbine high school shooting.
If you had any doubt students are perfectly capable of organizing themselves, put them to rest. There are two student-led actions now to follow:— Shannon 🙅🏻♀️ (@TheStagmania) February 18, 2018
March for Our Lives 3/24 for all to participate in (@AMarch4OurLives)
National School Walkout 4/20 for students (@schoolwalkoutUS)
People witnessing this moment shouldn't be surprised by how poised and articulate these young survivors are.
These students are digital natives with an inherent sense of justice and fairness. They know what change looks like. They know how to organise, and they have first-hand experience into how empty rhetoric and inaction can cost young lives.
The survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting are true heroes who prove that, with a government full of corrupt adults, it's the teenagers who will usher in real change.