In a time when politicians are offering up “thoughts and prayers,” survivors of the Parkland school shooting are fighting back against our nations lax gun laws and demanding change.
On March 24, survivors of Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School will take to the streets of Washington DC to demand that legislators take action to prevent future mass shootings. The peaceful protest has garnered thousands of media impressions and inspired others to plan marches in their cities as well. The official March for our Lives Facebook page lists event pages for 68 marches taking place in the United States and London, with hundreds of thousands of people saying they plan to attend.
The event has even reached celebrities who have offered up financial support to promote the movement. Reuters reports that George Clooney and his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, were the first to offer a financial pledge of $500,000 and said they will march alongside the students on March 24. Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey have followed in Clooney’s footsteps and matched their donation.
Winfrey said, “George and Amal, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am joining forces with you and will match your $500,000 donation to March for our Lives. These inspiring young people remind me of the Freedom Riders of the 60s who also said we’ve had ENOUGH and our voices will be heard.”
The March For Our Lives official Twitter page has earned over 124,000 followers in the week following the shooting and sparked viral twitter threads including #MarchForOurLives, #NeverAgain and #BoycottNRA.
While many of the drivers of this movement are still too young to vote, they are putting their savvy social media skills to use to fuel their cause. Survivor, Cameron Kasky has become one of the faces of the movement. He said he would like to make it shameful for politicians to accept money from the NRA.
Kasky may see this goal come true. First National Bank of Omaha, Enterprise car share and Wyndham Resorts are a few organizations that have responded to customer feedback and media attention and agreed to drop their partnerships with the NRA.
The young students of Marjory Douglas are proving themselves to be extremely social media savvy and brave beyond their years. Their actions prove how powerful of a tool social media can be. I look forward to following the movement and hope to see its success in coming years.