‘March For Our Lives’ — NJ Teens, Murphy to Demand Gun Control
NEWARK — Gov. Phil Murphy and hundreds of New Jersey teens will be part of the March for our Lives on Saturday.
The event — described by organizers as "student-centered, student-lead" — is scheduled for 10 a.m at Military Park in Newark and at about a dozen other locations across the state, as students from Stoneman Douglas High School, the scene of February's mass shooting left 14 dead, march in Washington.
One million people are expected in Washington to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue in what could be one of the largest marches in history. Organizers have requested 14 Jumbotrons, 2,000 chairs and 2,000 public restrooms for the event. Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato are expected to join the march.
The message of those marching in nearly 800 marches around the world is a demand "their lives and safety become a priority," according to the March for Our Lives website. Organizers say they want Congress to vote on a "comprehensive and effective bill" on gun violence.
"It's exciting to see. It's very similar to the women's march in which you see marches popping up all over the state," Elizabeth Meyer, founder and lead organizer of the Women’s March on NJ and lead organizer with NJ March for Science 2017, told the Townsquare News Network. "The great thing about that is that the physical mapping of these students waking up and learning to use their voices. As we start to look at March 24 we see look at all of the marches dotted across the state. It's incredible,"
Students who didn't know each from different backgrounds came from across the state to organize the Newark march, she said.
"But they are all coming together for the same the cause, crying out and saying, 'Enough is enough. I'm a kid sitting in a classroom. I should be concentrating on learning and not wondering am I safe. Is my life in jeopardy?'" Meyer said.
Westfield High School sophomore Colin Sumner organized the Union County march and hopes 1,000 will join him for the march from the Burnet Middle School to town hall in Union Township.
"It's really been a great experience. I'm very thankful to Moms Demand Action, Union County and state Sen. Joseph Cryan's office. They've just been very supportive and conscientious that this is supposed to be a student's march. They've providing is with the resources we need and letting us take the wheel," Sumner said.
The president of Westfield High School's Young Democrats said several students will speak during the event along with Booker and Cryan Senator Donald Payne and state Senator Nicholas Scutari will speak.
Sumner said he is glad to live in an upper middle class town but pointed out that Sandy Hook, Connecticut and Parkland Florida have similar economic makeups to Westfield's.
After the march, Sumner said he hopes to help keep the public discussion going about gun violence and gun safety.
"We need to come together and talk about it," Sumner said.
The marches are in:
- Asbury Park
- Freehold Township
- Jersey City
- Red Bank
- Ocean City
- Union (Union County)
- Upper Montclair
- Woodland Park
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report