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Westfield March for Our Lives

Haley Tomasso, R1 News Editor

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Thousands of Westfield residents marched together through town Saturday morning to emphasize the effects of gun violence. This march was one of hundreds of other sister marches that took place around the globe as part of the March for Our Lives protest. With the primary march taking place in Washington and sister marches filling the streets everywhere from New York to London to Westfield, an estimated 800,000 people took part worldwide.

Participants of the Westfield event started on the south side of the train station, where they began their walk to Mindowaskin Park, led by senior organizers Katie Clark, Emily Bloomfield, Linzy Rosen and Will Rackear.

In the park, a variety of adult speakers made passionate arguments for gun reform. These speakers included Ms. Ashley Miskoff, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School alumna; Rev. Bob Moore, director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action; Mr. Ronald McCray, President of the Rahway National Association for the Advancem

Photo by Haley Tomasso
Two women show off their signs.

ent of Colored People; Ms. Linda Weber, former congressional candidate; Ms. Rielly Karsh, representative for Democratic congressional candidate Tom Malinowski; Ms. Katie McClure, representative for Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety, and Mr. Luis Rivera, representative for Gays Against Guns.

“How am I supposed to feel safe in a place where I am too young to rent a car but I can legally get my hands on a killing machine?” Clark asked in her speech before the march began. “How am I supposed to feel safe in a place where instead of learning math and history, I am making a plan in each classroom for what I would do if there was a shooter?”

After marching, the participants stood around the gazebo in Mindowaskin Park with their posters high above their heads listening to what each speaker had to say.

After leading a chant in which participants yelled “Fight,” Rivera stated, “Please register and please vote because that is the only way that you are going to create change and that is the only way you will get into the history books.”

Photo by Haley Tomasso
Family fun at the march

Westfield resident Lee Kerkhof was among many others who were there at the march. With his peace sign poster in his hand, Kerkhof stated, “I am glad your generation is taking this issue into your own hands.”

When asked about this event, participants called it inspiring. The atmosphere was filled with dozens of hopeful adults and children who felt destined to make change happen.

“Change is going to happen after this,” said senior Spencer Quinn. “I have a really good feeling about this.”

Ms. Wendy Connolly, mother of senior Abby Connolly, added, “I feel hopeful that things are going to change because of this generation.”  

At the gazebo, Weber stated several gun facts that pertained to residents in the U.S. She emphasized the struggles and terror that kids go through on a daily basis as they are in school. She said that her school had drills for duck and cover, which she explained was only theoretical, whereas now when students are told there is a lockdown drill there is the fear of a school shooter.  

Karsh concluded her own speech by saying, “Understand that your voice matters and that your life matters.”

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