On Saturday, activists around the world will take to the streets for the March For Our Lives, a collection of international protests aimed at bringing attention to gun violence and compelling lawmakers to pass stronger gun laws. It's shaping up to be massive, as there are marches planned for every state in the U.S. and every continent on the planet. Meanwhile, if you'd like to show your support on social media, there are several March For Our Lives hashtags you can use to do so.
At the risk of stating the obvious, one of the hashtags that the protesters and their supporters are using is #MarchForOurLives. That shouldn't come as a surprise. But there are several others as well.
The March For Our Lives was organized in part by students who survived the Parkland shooting in February, wherein a gunman stormed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and killed 17 people. Several of the survivors turned to activism after the shooting, and quickly adopted the phrase "never again" as a sort of unofficial slogan for their movement. As such, #NeverAgain is one of the most popular hashtags being used to promote Saturday's protests on Twitter and Instagram.
While the March For Our Lives is a general protest against gun violence, the organizers also have three specific policy demands that they've outlined on the event's website. They want to ban the sale of high-capacity magazines, close loopholes in the background check system that's used to verify gun purchases, ban the sale of assault rifles. To that end, many on social media are using the hashtag #BanAssaultRifles to show their support for the marchers' goals.
One of the more interactive hashtags to arise on the eve of the March For Our Lives is #IWillMarch. The goal here is to give people the opportunity not just to show their support for the protest, but to explain specifically why they're protesting. For instance, Amy Schumer tweeted that "#IWillMarch in solidarity with Parkland students for common-sense gun safety laws."
In addition to all of this, many of the local marches have their own hashtags. There's #MarchForOurLivesATX for the protest in Austin, Texas, #MarchForOurLivesDC for the main event in Washington D.C., and so on. These may come in handy not only for supporters at home, but also for facilitating real-time communication between attendees at the events.
Finally, many of those tweeting in support of the March For Our Lives are adding the #EndGunViolence hashtag. That one's pretty self-explanatory, but no less valuable for anyone who wants to show solidarity with the protesters.
The Parkland shooting reignited the long-running national debate over America's gun laws. This time, however, much of the conversation has focused specifically on child gun deaths and gun violence in schools. A study published in March found that guns have become the third-leading cause of death for American kids, surpassed only by illness and accidents. Perhaps even more alarmingly, data from the Centers for Disease Control found that over 26,000 American children have been killed by guns since 1999 — including 1,678 kids who were younger than five years old.
Some conservatives, including President Trump, responded to the Parkland shooting by proposing that teachers carry guns on them during school hours, and weeks after the shooting, Florida's governor signed a bill that will allow certain school employees to be armed. This "good guy with a gun" argument, however, was soon followed by reports that there was in fact an armed deputy at Stoneman Douglas during the shooting, but rather than taking any steps to stop the violence, he stayed outside of the school (He's since resigned). Additionally, there were two incidents in the same day in mid-March wherein an armed school employee accidentally fired their gun, in one case injuring three students in the process.
There are a total of 833 March For Our Lives events across the world. To find the one nearest you, simply plug in your zip code here.