On Saturday, March 24, the March For Our Lives will be taking place in Washington, D.C., along with simultaneous marches in cities and towns throughout the United States and the world. And if you're planning to participate in the big march in the nation's capital, you're going to need to know where to go. Luckily, you can find the March For Our Lives route map at the event's official website, and it lays out in a vivid, crisp graphic exactly where the marchers will be going.
It figures to be a heavily attended event, although exactly how many people will show up is not yet clear. A permit application filed for the march last month reportedly showed that organizers are planning for 500,000 people to show up, and take to the streets in a protest march in support of new gun control laws.
As the route map posted to the website shows ― and you can download it here, if you need a copy for yourself ― the march will be taking place in close proximity to the National Mall, within eyeshot of the iconic Washington Monument. It's slated to begin on Saturday morning, with the program taking place on the east side of the field.
This is not the first major demonstration to descend on Washington, D.C. this year. In January, the second annual Women's March also saw thousands of people take to the streets, and parallel marches in other cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York drew out hundreds of thousands. The first Women's March was also massively well-attended, and in addition to the presidential inaugurations that happen every four years, the city is pretty familiar with large-scale events.
The March For Our Lives was organized in the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida last month, a tragic event that left 17 people dead, including 14 students. Some of the teenage survivors of the shooting have turned to vocal activism in its aftermath, trying to put pressure on elected officials to take action on gun reform.
A number of the students, including Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, and Cameron Kasky, participated in a CNN-hosted town hall event on gun violence and reform late last month, also attended by Florida senator Marco Rubio. Suffice to say, in the slightly more than a month since the harrowing shooting, a lot of the students who survived are hard at work.
It's yet unclear whether the pressure will be successful in bringing about tangible reforms, however. In years past, even hugely heartbreaking school shootings ― like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut back in 2012 ― have failed to spur congressionnal leaders, senators, and representatives to pass meaningful gun control legislation.
In fact, former president Barack Obama, who once famously cried during a speech about the slain Newtown kids, has described his inability to enact gun control as the "greatest frustration" of his presidency. The intractibility of the issue is in part thanks to the aggressive and prolific lobbying efforts of the National Rifle Association (NRA), which has donated millions to Republican elected officials in recent years, as well as conservative conviction regarding the 2nd Amendment.
In short, few issues have stirred up as much pessimism and hopelessness among liberals and Democrats in recent years as gun control. And yet, the Parkland students clearly aren't planning to take no for an answer, and are tireslessly working to keep up the pressure on the U.S. Congress, and on President Donald Trump. The March For Our Lives is scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. ET, but if you're planning to participate in a march in a different city, you can check out the list of sibling marches here.