On March 24,survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting rallied on the streets of Washington with a simple message: never again. Starting early morning, hundreds of thousands – many of them students – listened as young leaders addressed the whole of Pennsylvania Avenue from a stage near the Capitol. Over 800 sister marches were held in other locations nationwide.
1. There were already a few hundred people outside the main stage on Pennsylvania Avenue and 3rd Street four hours before the event began. I figured it'd start out front early before slowly working my way backwards, following the edge of the crowd along the march route.
2. This sign reminded me of something I overheard at Georgetown University covering student walkouts there a few weeks ago - "Guns have more rights than my vagina."
3. It's not a true student protest without a Magic School Bus reference.
4. Two elaborately-dressed protesters - Dan (right) from Virginia, and Steve (left) from St. Thomas spoke to me about their views on gun legislation, bump stocks, and Marco Rubio (video).
5. Outside the Trump International Hotel, the anticipated site of a counterprotest by gun rights supporters which, by-and-large, failed to materialize.
6. I saw kids leading their parents down Pennsylvania Avenue, snatching megaphones from adults to lead their peers in chants, and witnessed a pervasive fear that their school could be next.
7. Of all the photos I took of students, this one stood out to me the most. Note the graduation cap.
8. Each of these giant screens along Pennsylvania Avenue had its own microcosm of thousands all huddling around to get a closer look.
9. When I read her sign, I remembered why some commentators are calling this the "lockdown generation." The paint on her left cheek reads "March for Our Lives" with a peace symbol.
10. Standing on a street corner and reading all the sings going by was like being at a town hall with thousands all voicing their thoughts. I spent a lot of my time on this march weaving through the crowd documenting as many signs as I could, preserving the effort and message of their creators.
11. You'll notice that a lot of these signs are aimed at denouncing politicians for "thoughts and prayers," ineffective legislation, and broken promises. That focus on effecting change distinguishes March for Our Lives from other large marches with only a broad sense of camaraderie against Trump.
12. She kept looking over at me really intensely.
13. Definitely one of the more provocative signs and a popular one with the rest of the crowd, who kept taking selfies with it.
14. On bottom left, a twist on the common "guns don't kill people" retort from gun rights advocates.
15. This reminded me of Mitch McConnell's "nevertheless, she persisted" after he reprimanded Elizabeth Warren for speaking out of line on the Senate floor last year. That became a rallying cry for left-wing activists, and this sign has a similar spirit.
16. Most photos you've seen so far were all taken on the same intersection at Pennsylvania Avenue and 9th Street. It was so packed that, just like the Women's March, wherever you were when the rally began was where you'd probably stay for a while.
17. "THANK YOU [CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]"
18. I can't tell you enough how proud some of these kids were of the signs they'd made. Also: I'm pretty sure that's a patch of paint on her nose.
19. Midway through the rally, a group of about 30 pro-gun militia, including Three Percenters, walked into the crowd at Pennsylvania Avenue at 10th Street. Initially, a pair of young women silently stood among them in opposition.
20. Though the militia were isolated by the rest of the crowd, about two dozen students calmly stood on either side of their group in response. They remained there for over an hour while gun rights advocates conversed with other protesters in civil, though often heated, arguments.
21. You had to stop once in a while to take in the sheer enormity of the whole thing. Crowd sizes are an inexact science but educated guesses from independent sources pin the total size at 200,000 - not something you see every day.
22. These two women positioned themselves at a point where people were leaving from the densest part of the crowd. Needless to say, they probably knew their signs would be pretty popular.
23. One of those moments where everything lines up perfectly to give you one shot that captures the spirit of the whole event.
24. Center frame is another one of the more provocative signs I saw. Keep in mind that conservative fervor against gun regulation spiked out of fear that Obama would dismantle the right to bear arms.
25. Another pair of protesters responding to the militia group.
26. The Trump Hotel is second only to the White House in popularity for local activists opposing Trump. Following the end of the event, these students began to lay their signs down at the hotel's security barrier, chanting "we are students, we are change."
27. One last shot of a student, with a backdrop of the Trump Hotel. //