Live updates from March for Our Lives rallies against gun violence in Boston and nationwide

Gun Rights

March for Our Lives rallies are happening today in cities and towns throughout the country, including Boston, other locations in Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. We’re gathering the latest news and updates below.

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June 11, 2022

Children hold signs calling for gun control. ‘When I grow up, I want to be: Still alive.’ — 5:41 p.m.

By Diti Kohli, Globe Staff

Throughout the afternoon, younger attendees lifted colorful signs urging the country to value their lives before guns.

An elementary-aged girl sat on her father’s shoulders with a sign, sprawled in crayon: “No guns,” it read, next to a red heart. “When I grow up, I want to be: Still alive,” another said. A high schooler raised a poster that read, “I should be writing my college essay, not my will.”

Aquinnah Guinan, 5, sits on the shoulders of her father, Sean, while attending a March for Our Lives rally in Christopher Columbus Park. Erin Clark/Globe Staff

In the crowd, adults donned shirts that identified themselves as “aunts,” “meemaws,” and “grandparents against gun violence.”

‘I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.’ Demonstrators travel to Boston to protest. — 5:09 p.m.

By Diti Kohli, Globe Staff

Kevin Ovian, a Stonehill College student, drove from the suburbs to sit on the green, angered by the horrific string of shootings nationwide this past month. He recalled taking part in active shooter drills at school and disparaged the second amendment for allowing “lawless warfare.”

“I am sick and tired of being sick and tired,” said Ovian, 21 and from Rochester, Massachusetts. “The fact that kids have to learn how to hide from a shooter before they learn long division is absurd.”

Sarah Stone, middle school English teacher and mom of two, attends the March for Our Lives rally in Christopher Columbus Park. Erin Clark/Globe Staff

Gun safety activist Sonya Coleman pushed to oust Massachusetts firearms manufacturers, including Savage Arms and Smith & Wesson, who supply guns nationwide. Several Massachusetts-made guns have been used in mass shootings elsewhere.

“What’s illegal to own or sell here should not be made in Massachusetts,” said Coleman, the chairperson of States United to End Gun Violence.

President of Massachusetts Teachers Association says to vote out politicians whose ‘moral compass has been robbed’ — 5:03 p.m.

By Diti Kohli, Globe Staff

Merrie Najimy, the president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, rejected Republican politicians’ calls to arm teachers, increase the political presence of schools, and double down on active shooter drills. “All of these things only perpetuate the culture of firearms and violence that we are trying to break,” she said. “Such measures merely create an illusion of safety … They are knee-jerk reactions in place of real solutions.”

Najimy advocated for the public to vote out politicians whose “moral compass has been robbed” by the gun lobby and the National Rifle Association, she added.

“There is no unalienable right that can justify the murder of people simply living their lives — going to school, going to the market, going to a house of worship, going to a medical appointment, going out with family and friends,” she said.

Future Doctors for Progress president: We have responsibility to advocate for our patients — 5:01 p.m.

By Samantha J. Gross, Globe staff

A group of Harvard Medical School students donned blue scrubs as they listened to speakers at the rally.

They are members of Future Doctors for Progress, a group that exists to empower medical students to fight for policy change that benefits their future patients and communities.

“We are encouraging future doctor to see this as a part of who we are,” said Inam Sakinah, the group’s national president. “[Gun violence] isn’t just statistics for us. These are real people . . . we have responsibility to advocate for our patients and our communities.

Sakinah, 24, is a second-year medical student at Harvard, and also serves on the school’s anti-racism task force.

“We do this work to mobilize future doctors across the country,” she said.

‘Blood on their hands,’ says recent high school graduate at Boston rally — 4:55 p.m.

By Diti Kohli, Globe Staff

Speaker after speaker touted the strength of Massachusetts gun laws, among the most strict in the country. But change is needed on a national level, a collection of high school students, activists, and educators said at the rally.

Hundreds of demonstrators attend a March for Our Lives rally in Christopher Columbus Park. Erin Clark/Globe Staff

Justin Meszler, a recent Sharon High School graduate, recalled attending the 2018 March for Our Lives demonstration as an eight grader. On Saturday, he mourned the fact that little has changed and called on politicians to pass federal legislation: Raise the age for possession to 21 and ban assault rifles and high capacity magazines.

“Politicians could anticipate the price of their inaction” before the massacres in Buffalo, N.Y. and Uvalde, TX, he said. “And still they chose to do nothing … Every day that our elected officials offer thoughts and prayers instead of meaningful, tangible actions is blood on their hands.”

More than a thousand demonstrators gather for March for Our Lives rally in Boston — 4:48 p.m.

By Andrew Brinker, Samantha J. Gross, and Shannon Larson, Globe Correspondent and Globe Staff

More than a thousand demonstrators gathered Saturday afternoon on Boston’s waterfront to call for stronger gun control laws, joining a national protest movement that promised to bring hundreds of thousands into the streets of major cities and small towns across the country.

The mass mobilization comes in the wake of a spate of mass shootings that has devastated the nation, including an attack at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left 21 dead, including 19 young students.

Saturday’s March for Our Lives protests marked the second time protesters have poured into the streets and onto the steps of the nation’s capitol building in the name of the movement.

Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor express support for stricter gun control measures during rally — 4:42 p.m.

By Samantha J. Gross, Globe staff

While Massachusetts is often seen as a progressive leader on gun control laws, there are several pieces of legislation pending before the Legislature to further tighten existing policies.

Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor, Acton Representative Tami L. Gouveia and Longmeadow Senator Eric P. Lesser, expressed their support for some of the legislation as they made their ways through the crowd.

Among the proposals include a bill that would target homemade “ghost guns,” expand gun violence data sharing requirements, ban firearms in some public places, require live-fire training for gun license applicants, and develop dispatch programs to reduce interactions between police and civilians.

“Gun violence is happening every day . . . our young people are crying out for us to take action,” Gouveia said. “It’s on us to make sure we do all we can. We should all be shamed that we haven’t gotten this done. We have been dragging our feet.”

Lesser, whose district includes the headquarters for gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson, admitted “there is a lot more we can do.”

“As lieutenant governor, I can play a role of bringing all stakeholders to the table,” he said.

Also in attendance were Democratic candidates for secretary of state Tanisha Sullivan and William F. Galvin.

Sullivan, an attorney and head of Boston’s NAACP branch, said she hopes to spread the message that election turnout can change policy at a state and national level.

“We are here today because we don’t have enough elected officials doing the right thing,” she said. “Who we vote for determined who gets elected and who votes on these policies.”

Secretary of State Galvin calls on changes to be made on the federal level — 3:38 p.m.

By Samantha J. Gross, Globe staff

Secretary of State William F. Galvin, who is seeking his eighth term in the role, stood alone at the back of the crowd, listening to speakers.

His staff ran a voter registration table with forms available for potential voters from every state. Galvin said he hopes to capture some of the tourists who may be visiting from other parts of the US.

“It’s unthinkable. We were here on the Common in 2018. We did this four years ago, and nothing’s changed,” Galvin said. “The problem is not here in Massachusetts. We have got to get something through [at the federal level].”

‘It’s unbearable to see shooting after shooting.’ Parents attend rally in Boston with their children — 3:32 p.m.

By Samantha J. Gross, Globe staff

Michael Seymour, 42, held his daughter in one hand and a protest sign in the other as he crossed the street toward Christopher Columbus Park Saturday.

Taylorlane Seymour, 9, is an “experienced activist,” Seymour said of his daughter.

The two, who live in Boston, have attended rallies against gun violence and women’s rights together since 2018, when they marched with March for our Lives after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

“[The Uvalde shooting] stings a lot more than others,” Seymour said. “I can’t wrap my head around what those parents went through. It’s a helpless feeling.”

He takes his daughter to rallies to teach her that gun violence “is not normal.”

“I don’t want more guns,” Taylorlane Seymour said.

Seated in the grass in Christopher Columbus Park, Shannon Whigham, 35, bounced her 10-month old baby, Zakeen.

“It’s different when you have your own kids,” she said.

Her husband, Steffon Whigham, echoed the sentiment.

“It’s unbearable, to see shooting after shooting after shooting,” Whigham, 36, said. “[After Uvalde] I looked at my wife and was like, ‘what about homeschool?’”

Photos: March for Our Lives rally begins in Christopher Columbus Park — 3:22 p.m.

By Erin Clark, Globe staff

People are attending a March for Our Lives rally in Christopher Columbus Park on Saturday.

March for Our Lives rallies are scheduled today in cities and towns throughout the country, including Boston, other locations in Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C..

Here are some photos from the start of the rally in Boston.

People attend a March for Our Lives rally in Christopher Columbus Park. Erin Clark/Globe Staff

David Basson, left, and Katie Basson attend a March for Our Lives rally in Christopher Columbus Park on Saturday. Erin Clark/Globe Staff

9-Year-Old Lawson Fernsten, along with his sister Ilsa, 6, holds a sign that reads “Protect Kids Not Guns” while attending a March for Our Lives rally in Christopher Columbus Park on Saturday. Erin Clark/Globe Staff

Hundreds rally in front of the courthouse in Portland, Maine — 3:12 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Joining the call for change were hundreds of people who rallied in a park outside the courthouse in Portland, Maine, before they marched through the Old Port and gathered outside of City Hall. At one point, they chanted, “Hey, hey, hey, NRA, how many kids have to die today.”

John Wuesthoff, a retired lawyer in Portland, said he was waving an American flag during the rally as a reminder that gun control is “not un-American.”

“It’s very American to have reasonable regulations to save the lives of our children,” he said.

Granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr.: ‘This time is different because this isn’t about politics. It’s about morality.’ — 2:31 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Speaker after speaker in Washington called on senators, who are seen as a major impediment to legislation, to act or face being voted out of office, especially given the shock to the nation’s conscience after 19 children and two teachers were killed May 24 at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

“If our government can’t do anything to stop 19 kids from being killed and slaughtered in their own school, and decapitated, it’s time to change who is in government,” said David Hogg, a survivor of the 2018 shooting that killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He is also a co-founder of the March For Our Lives organization that was created after the shooting and held its first rally in Washington not long afterward.

Added Yolanda King, granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr.: “This time is different because this isn’t about politics. It’s about morality. Not right and left, but right and wrong, and that doesn’t just mean thoughts and prayers. That means courage and action.”

March for Our Lives organizers plan to see 2,000 local attendees — 2:20 p.m.

By Samantha J. Gross, Globe staff

Early Saturday afternoon, March for Our Lives organizers in white t-shirts started to set up for the rally, which was to begin at 3 p.m.

It couldn’t start earlier, one organizer explained, because of a field day for a Boston day school that already booked the event permit at Christopher Columbus Park.

The green space was filled with tourists and sun-seekers, lounging on picnic blankets and taking in the harbor view at the North End park. Some diners at waterfront restaurant Tia’s wore Mom’s Demand Action or March for Our Lives t-shirts and propped up signs they will display later in the afternoon.

“I’m a mom. I’m a teacher. My kids, your kids, our kids deserve to feel safe at school. No more guns,” one read.

Diners at waterfront restaurant Tia’s prop up signs advocating for gun control legislation ahead of a March for Our Lives rally at nearby Christopher Columbus Park on Saturday.Samantha J. Gross

The event is expected to draw 2,000 attendees, according to organizer Ashley Clark, a 19-year-old Northeastern University political science student.

Clark and fellow organizer Ari Kane, 20, organized t-shirts and signage while they waited on the stage, water stations, voter registration tables, and medic tents to arrive.

“This isn’t the world we should be living in and growing up in,” Clark said, as she and Kane organized supplies in the grassy park lawn.

The event is expected to be one of the most attended in the country, she said, citing the 2,000 RSVPs on the Every Action event website.

Massachusetts has been a leader on gun safety, boasting some of the tightest gun control laws in the country, Clark and Kane said. But they are hoping their advocacy reaches beyond state lines, and pushes US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to call a vote on universal background checks. They also want to see a ban on assault weapons, the raising of the gun purchasing age to 21, and “red flag” laws like those already in place in Massachusetts.

Clark, who witnessed gun violence near her Illinois high school and in college in Colorado before she transferred to Northeastern said, “Elizabeth Warren and Senator Markey are fighting for us in Congress, and Senator Schumer needs to act on it.”

“They need to take the laws passed in Massachusetts and use them at the national level,” she said.

Activists rally in New York, Parkland — 2:14 p.m.

By The Associated Press

In the Brooklyn borough of New York City, Mayor Eric Adams, who campaigned on reining in violence in the nation’s largest city, joined state Attorney General Letitia James, who is suing the National Rifle Association, in leading activists on a march toward the Brooklyn Bridge.

“Nothing happens in this country until young people stand up — not politicians,” James said.

People march across the Brooklyn Bridge to protest against gun violence in the March for Our Lives march and rally on Saturday in New York City.Spencer Platt/Getty

Hundreds gathered at an amphitheater in Parkland, where Debra Hixon, whose husband, high school athletic director Chris Hixon, died in the shooting, said it is “all too easy” for young men to walk into stores and buy weapons.

“Going home to an empty bed and an empty seat at the table is a constant reminder that he is gone,” said Hixon, who now serves as a school board member. “We weren’t done making memories, sharing dreams and living life together. Gun violence ripped that away from my family.”

Joy Jenner and her daughter Sydney Jenner, 18, and a recent graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School lean on each other during the March For Our Lives Parkland to Demand an End to Gun Violence rally at Pine Trails Park Amphitheater in Parkland, Fla., on Saturday.Mike Stocker/Associated Press

Thousands stream to National Mall to demand gun law changes — 1:36 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Thousands of people streamed to the National Mall for the highest-profile of countrywide demonstrations Saturday marking a renewed push for gun control after recent mass shootings from Uvalde, Texas, to Buffalo, New York, that activists say should compel Congress to act.

Parkland survivor and activist David Hogg speaks to the crowd during in the second March for Our Lives rally in support of gun control in front on Saturday in Washington. Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press

Organizers hoped the second March for Our Lives rally would draw as many as 50,000 people to the Washington Monument. While that would be far less than the original 2018 march that filled downtown Washington with more than 200,000 people, they decided to focus this time on smaller marches at an estimated 300 locations.

Rallies are scheduled in Boston and locations across the country — 10:06 a.m.

Shannon Larson, Globe Staff

Thousands of protesters are expected to participate in rallies throughout Massachusetts and the rest of the country Saturday to call for action on gun control legislation in the wake of mass shootings, including the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

The mass mobilization will mark the second major March for Our Lives event, after the first in 2018 following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., which spurred the formation of the youth-led movement. Thousands marched on the nation’s capital then and hundreds of local protests were held.

Thousands of people are expected at rallies for gun reform after surge in mass shootings — 11:23 a.m.

Associated Press

Thousands of protesters are expected to rally in Washington, D.C., Saturday and in separate demonstrations around the country as part of a renewed push for nationwide gun control. Motivated by a fresh surge in mass shootings, from Uvalde, Texas, to Buffalo, New York, protestors say lawmakers must take note of shifting public opinion and finally enact sweeping reforms.

Organizers expect the second March for Our Lives rally to draw around 50,000 demonstrators to the Washington Monument. That’s far less than the original 2018 march, which filled downtown Washington with more than 200,000 people. This time, organizers are focusing on holding smaller marches at an estimated 300 locations.

Rally-goers are gathering on the Mall in Washington, D.C., ahead of the 3 p.m. start time.

Protesters were near the Washington Monument on Saturday.Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press

A rally-goer in Washington, D.C.Paul Morigi/Getty Images for March For Our Lives
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