Rally for Our Lives: Gables Students Protest Gun Violence

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Elliza Beltran

Coral Gables Senior High students stand in unity in front of the Ralph Moore building.

In light of the horrific man shooting that took place in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County which took the lives of 17 individuals, students across the United States have rallied en masse, calling on government officials to take action. These rallies have not only been in places of political importance, such as Washington or Tallahassee where students have been rallying for days, but also on high school campuses. Several schools in Miami-Dade County organized protests and walkouts in solidarity with the victims of the Stoneman Douglas shooting, chief among them Coral Gables Senior High.

“After the shooting, I really had no idea what to expect from students. I certainly did not expect students to organize the way that they did, and it’s been truly inspiring,” junior Sofia Villarroel said.

The rally at Gables was organized through a series of interactions between students on social media sites such as Twitter, where they debated what the best method for drawing county-wide attention to the issue would be. From there, student organizers took it upon themselves to make posters sporting provocative phrases such as “Are We Next?” or “Wake Up” in addition to other signs directly naming politicians and calling them to action. During second lunch in front of the Ralph Moore Building, hordes of students gathered in a circle to peacefully protest. One of the most vocal protestors, senior Will Breslin, gave a captivating speech on the severity of the issue, and urged students to make their voices heard by holding their elected officials accountable for their actions through political engagement. Perhaps the most memorable moment was when several students from the crowd laid down on the pavement to mimic deceased bodies, while the crowd fervently chanted “Never Again”.

“The turnout at the protest had blown away all expectations. Watching Alyssa Lamadriz and Kassandra Luis speak was mind-boggling and inspirational. It not only has made me more confident in my ability to organize, but also incredibly hopeful for the future of the political activism in and outside of Gables,” senior Will Breslin said.

It is clear that unlike the previous mass shootings, the mobilization of students has reached unprecedented levels in the nation as a whole. The distaste for politics and corruption, instead of creating apathy, has catalyzed a bombshell of civil disobedience among the nation’s youth. With Washington and the entire world watching, radical change remains the primary goal for these students.