By Jerry Callaghan, Contributing Writer/Photographer
Worcester – A crowd estimated in the low thousands gathered in front of Worcester City Hall March 24 to hear student speakers talk about ending the gun violence in our country. Worcester’s March for Our Lives was part of a nationwide protest started by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. where 14 students and 3 staff members were killed by a 19-year-old gunman.
The main event was held in Washington, D.C. with another estimated 800 gathering planned throughout the United States and in some other countries as well.
Just as they did at events throughout the country, people of all ages and ethnicities gathered in Worcester as a measure of solidarity with the Parkland students and to protest gun violence and demand stricter regulations. Two Shrewsbury educators, Marcia and Jim Smith, were among the participants. Marcia taught at the Spring Street School in Shrewsbury, while Jim, who taught in Weston, continues to coach the Shrewsbury High School boys’ cross country team.
Emanuel Colon, a Worcester State University student, gave the first of many student speeches at the Worcester event.
“We are the ones we have been waiting for,” he told the crowd. “And we will be not be silenced because our lives depend on it.”
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren made an appearance at the event as well, asking “Are you ready to fight for life, not guns?”
An energetic crowd gladly posed for “selfies” with the senator, before starting their protest march down Main Street.