Tens of thousands of people gathered for a “March for Our Lives” rally at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco Saturday afternoon, and then marched down Market Street to Justin Herman Plaza.
Kai Levenson-Cupp, a 16-year-old from Alameda was one of the young speakers to address the crowd. “To start we need to vote out the politicians who are bought and funded by the NRA,” Levenson-Cupp said. “I’m voting in 2020 and will be voting them out and I hope everyone will be with me.”
Many of the thousands of marchers are under the legal voting age but were moved by recent mass shootings, including the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School, to speak out.
“I am here because I am sick and tired of seeing innocent children getting killed by guns,” said 16-year-old Justin Walton.
Identical twins Charlotte and Dylan Dodson of San Francisco are just 12 years old but came to the rally in hopes of swaying adults to go to the voting booth and support gun control.
“We think it’s important to speak out because other people in our community can vote and what we say influences their lives too,” Charlotte said. Her sister Dylan added, “As a first grader you shouldn’t be scared that someone’s going to kill you.”
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, whose federal ban on assault weapons expired in 2004, met with the young activists and said they gave her hope. Feinstein introduced a similar ban last October in the wake of the shooting in Las Vegas which killed 58 people.
“We were successful once and I believe we can be successful again,” Senator Feinstein said. “I think what’s new about this is young America. They are stepping up and stepping out and saying, ‘Never again.’”