Students planning March for Our Lives events across Arizona
PHOENIX — Thousands of students across Arizona were planning to march on Saturday as part of a national day of action against gun violence.
There were 13 March For Our Lives events planned across Arizona and each were expected to draw large crowds. The events spanned from Kingman in the northwest part of the state to Nogales along the southern border.
Similar events will be held across the country to protest gun violence in schools and to call for gun control legislation. It was in response to the mass shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last month.
Jacob Martinez, a junior at Dobson High School, said he and other students are tired of seeing politicians promise to take action after every recent school shooting. He said the Florida high school shooting “was the final straw.”
“We as students finally stood up and said, ‘Enough is enough,’” he said.
Martinez is one of the organizers of the Phoenix March for Our Lives, which is hosting a march at the Arizona State Capitol.
Students plan to gather at 10 a.m. and will begin by hearing from a number of speakers.
“We’ve gone out and invited a lot of young people who are our age and who’ve experienced gun violence personally,” said Jordan Harb, a junior at Mountain View High School and also an organizer of the Phoenix March for Our Lives.
The students organizing Saturday’s march at the Capitol released a list of priorities they believe will help curb gun violence and make schools safer. The list included comprehensive background checks, a ban on bump stocks and $360 million to hire more counselors, psychologists, and social workers.
Students have been meeting with state lawmakers to push for these priorities over the last few weeks.
They have also been trying to meet with Gov. Doug Ducey to weigh in on his school safety proposal, which includes increased mental and behavioral health resources at schools and restricting access to weapons for those who pose a danger to themselves or others.
Students staged a sit-in a Ducey’s office on Wednesday but were unable to meet with him.
“We want a seat at the table, and we want to weigh in on this proposal,” Martinez said.
At the march on Saturday, volunteers will be going around registering people to vote and recruiting youth organizers for a voter registration campaign.
“Our goal will be, after this march, to register every young person to vote that we can and to connect them with opportunities to become civically engaged,” Harb said.