Parkland survivor and student activist Emma Gonzalez led half a million protestors in a remarkable moment of silence as a tribute to the 17 people who died during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting on Feb. 14.
“Six minutes and about 20 seconds. In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us, 15 were injured, and everyone, absolutely everyone in the Douglas community was forever altered,” Gonzalez stated at the March for Our Lives protest in Washington D.C. She then named all 17 students who were fatally shot that day before going quiet with tears streaming down her face at some points. While the silence was sometimes broken up by cheering and chants, most people remained silent.
After a few minutes, a timer broke her silence. “Since the time that I came out here, it has been six minutes and 20 seconds. The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it's someone else's job,” she declared, before walking off the stage.
After the Parkland shooting, Gonzalez has been at the forefront of the debate surrounding gun control reform. March for Our Lives became Parkland survivors’ response to the shooting, a movement that the students hope will prompt lawmakers to address gun violence and school shootings.