March for Our Lives
America’s young people lead a massive protest for changes to gun laws
On Saturday March 24, 2018, the student-led March for Our Lives protest took place in Washington, D.C., with over 800 sibling events throughout the United States and around the world. Amongst their demands, protestors urged for universal background checks on all gun sales, raising the federal age of gun ownership and possession to 21, closing down a gun show loophole and a ban on high-capacity magazines.
"The feeling of a groundswell of change was really very palpable"
- Mark Power
Leaders and figureheads included a diverse set of speakers at the leading Washington event, including young victims of gun violence from around America. An estimated two million people marched across the U.S., with USA Today reporting that estimates indicated that the March For Our Lives protest was the biggest single-day protest in Washington D.C.’s history. Mark Power’s photographs taken from the Newseum (Washington’s museum about the media) from the capital city show the scale of the march, while in the crowd, Susan Meisalas captured the sentiment of the protestors, holding signs reading ‘ENOUGH’ and ‘Protect Kids’, a sentiment echoed at the New York satellite event photographed by Jérôme Sessini.
Shooting on assignment for Swing Left, a not-for-profit working on swinging the House of Representatives back to the Democrats in this year’s election, Matt Stuart captured creative protests, including a child dressed in a startling outfit covered in fake blood and bullet wounds, and the hand drawn portraits of the Parkland shooting victims. In Paris, Richard Kalvar photographed an international satellite protest, held in solidarity with U.S. marches.
Lending their high profile to draw attention to the cause, events were attended by celebrities, actresses Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern attended the Los Angeles march, and Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and Paul McCartney were present at the New York protest. Referencing the assassination of his Beatles bandmate John Lennon in 1980, the musician said, “One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here.”
Reflecting on his day in Washington, photographing the march, Mark Power said: “The feeling of a groundswell of change was really very palpable. Although there were all generations present, it was really the young people who were the most vocal and it was wonderful to see. This particular generation, through circumstance, has been pushed to the brink and they have had to rise up – and they really are.”