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World

US students stage school walkouts to protest gun violence

Wednesday 14/March/2018 - 06:46 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Mohsin
Young people in the US walked out of class to demand action on gun violence on Wednesday (Thursday NZ Time) in what activists hoped would be the biggest demonstration of student activism yet in response to last month's massacre in Florida، according to several media reports.

More than 3000 walkouts were planned across the US and around the world، organisers said. Students were urged to leave class for 17 minutes - one minute for each victim in the February 14 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Students from elementary schools to colleges planned to take up the call in a variety of ways.

Some were expected to hold roadside rallies to honour shooting victims and protest violence. Others planned demonstrations in school gyms or on football fields. In Massachusetts and Ohio، students said they would head to the statehouse to lobby for new gun laws.

Some schools applauded students for taking a stand or at least tolerated the walkouts، while others threatened discipline.

The coordinated walkout was organised by Empower، the youth wing of the Women's March، which brought thousands to Washington last year.

Although the group wanted students to shape protests on their own، it also offered them a list of demands for lawmakers، including a ban on assault weapons and mandatory background checks for all gun sales.

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