Last month, a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Within a week, students rallied together to launch the #NeverAgain movement and organize a national protest against gun violence. Parkland students and their allies will converge on Washington, D.C. for the March for our Lives on March 24, and if you want to join, make sure you know what time the March for our Lives starts in D.C.
According to the March for our Lives website, "the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today." The march will officially begin at noon in D.C., according to the march's official Facebook event page. However, The Washington Post reported that march attendees are likely to arrive hours in advance.
The Post also reported that up to 500,000 people may attend the march in D.C. As a result, March for Our Lives President Deena Katz — who is also an Emmy-nominated producer and the co-executive director of the Women’s March chapter in Los Angeles — suggested that the march may become more of a rally if that many people attend. March for Our Lives organizers subsequently confirmed that there may not be an actual march.
Saturday's March for our Lives will follow closely on the heels of the National School Walkout, which was organized by the Women's March Youth Empower initiative. On March 14, students, teachers, and their allies walked out of classrooms all over the country to protest gun violence. Many of the walkouts lasted 17 minutes, in honor of each of the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting. Students also walked out in D.C. and rallied on the Hill, where they were met by Democratic congressional officials who had walked out of the Capitol.
Just 10 days later, D.C. will once again be the site of a major protest against gun violence. According to The Washington Post, March for our Lives participants will rally at Third Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, near D.C.'s National Gallery of Art; this is where the rally stage will be located. There will be numerous performances and speeches from noon to approximately 3 p.m. Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Jennifer Hudson, Common, and Vic Mensa are all expected to perform at the rally.
Numerous preparations have gone into accommodating such a high volume of people for Saturday's rally. Students in Bethesda, Maryland, for example, have organized a home-share network so that hundreds of students traveling to D.C. for the march will have a place to stay. Ride-share company Lyft is planning to offer free rides to March for Our Lives attendees in 50 different cities, including D.C.
Local police are also planning to implement many road closures, and the D.C. metro will be operating at rush-hour rates to accommodate protesters and visitors. As a result, The Washington Post encouraged potential march attendees to avoid driving on Saturday.
The March for Our Lives has also received significant support from celebrities. Last month, George and Amal Clooney announced that they were making a $500,000 donation to the march, prompting Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg — as well as others in Hollywood — to match their donation. Other celebrities like Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Handler, and Kim Kardashian West all posted in support of the march on social media.
The March for Our Lives is expecting to draw hundreds of thousands — possibly even millions — of people across the world, but it will not mark the end of the ongoing effort to combat gun violence. On April 20, multiple education unions and networks are joining together to organize a National Day of Action Against Gun Violence In Schools, and candlelight vigils, school walk-ins, and rallies have been planned all over the country.