March for Our Lives in Philadelphia draws thousands of supporters

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Thousands gathered in Philadelphia on Saturday for a March for Our Lives event, one of the many gatherings held to protest gun violence.

The march ended with a rally at Penn's Landing, where they heard emotional calls to action, and held signs calling for change.

Each marched for a different, personal reason.

"I'm a former teacher. I had high school students and I respect their commitment and I want to stand by them," said Helen McDevitt-Smith of Ardmore.

"It was a safe place for me when I was a youngster, and now it's not for my grandchildren," said Kinshasa Lamumba of Lawncrest.

This event was held the same day as the national march in Washington, D.C. and hundreds of sister marches throughout the country. Organizers say this event was student-driven.

"They are amazing. They really jumped in and took the lead with a lot of different things," said event chairwoman Romaine Wright.

"I think we desperately need gun control legislation. That's a really big priority for us. We need comprehensive background checks," said student organizer Rachel Steinig.

The march ended with a rally on Columbus Boulevard. Speakers included politicians and impassioned students.

Even the father of a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida - the scene of a school shooting that claimed 17 lives and sparked the movement leading to Saturday's event - was there.

He told the crowd he owned an AR-15, the type of rifle used in the shooting, but has since turned it in.

"I turned it in a few days after the incident because every time a shooting happened with an AR-15 I never thought it was going to happen to my family. But it did, and it hit me hard," said Mark Timpone.

Volunteers were also on hand to register to people to vote. Students were also urged to walk out of school on April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

Send a News Tip to Action News
Learn More About 6abc Apps
Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.