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Akron March For Our Lives Closes With Impassioned Student Speeches

photo of March For Our Lives
KABIR BHATIA
/
WKSU
The Akron protest included an address by Mayor Dan Horrigan.

Akron's student-led "March For Our Lives" wound through the city peacefully on Saturday before being capped by a string of stirring student speeches.

The Akron march began in Highland Square with speeches from Meredith Gallagher, a sophomore at Cuyahoga Falls High School, Mayor Dan Horrigan and others. The crowd then began the 2-mile trek to the Summit County Courthouse. Once there, Firestone senior Katelyn Thomas gave an impassioned speech asking the Trump administration to take action in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting.

“Mr. President, can you please spare a dime to help push change and make sure that the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting is the last school shooting this country ever has to face? Mr. President, enough is enough."

Kody Cross, a sophomore at Firestone High School, was among the speakers who said he was concerned for his safety every day.

“Our democratically elected officials, sworn to protect our rights, are failing to do the job that they decided to pursue. It makes me wonder why these people decided to serve us in the first place. And in the face of an administration that won’t do what they need to do to protect us, we are forced to stand up and demand it.”

Many of the other speakers side-stepped discussion of gun laws to instead focus on how domestic violence can be a possible predictor of gun violence. They also called on young people to register to vote.

Similar protests drew an estimate 1,500 people to Public Square in Cleveland and hundreds more gathered in downtown Canton.