March For Our Lives Rally Tampa

"This is what democracy looks like." That was the chant from the thousands of students and other residents who showed up for the March For Our Lives rally in downtown Tampa Saturday

March For Our Lives Erupts in Downtown Tampa on Saturday

Thousands of students and like minded people showed up Saturday morning for the March For Our Lives demonstration, and they were pissed. Tampa's installment of the nationwide movement took place at Kiley Garden in downtown. Estimated at over 10,000, demonstrators marched and carried signs, chanting phrases like "This is what democracy looks like", and "The NRA has got to go". They were there to protest gun violence and recent inaction at both the national and state levels on gun control. They are motivated and angry following the recent shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas  High school in Parkland Florida.

 Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn encourages student attendees to fight for what they believe. He was joined on stage with Congresswoman Cathy Castor, and Tampa City Council members Mike Suarez, Harry Cohen, and others.   

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn encourages student attendees to fight for what they believe. He was joined on stage with Congresswoman Cathy Castor, and Tampa City Council members Mike Suarez, Harry Cohen, and others.   

Buckhorn's impassioned message brought the crowd to deafening cheers.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn started the rally with an impassioned plea for the students to speak their mind and be heard, to not let the inaction in Washington continue, and to get ready to march.

March For Our Lives Tampa brought protest signs, speeches about safety in schools, and a one and a half mile march through South Tampa

 Bella Cruz-O'Grady, a senior at Steinbrenner High School, read a poem emphasizing the need for change

Bella Cruz-O'Grady, a senior at Steinbrenner High School, read a poem emphasizing the need for change

 

 

Many of the speakers were students from several high schools, including Susana Matta Valdivies, a 17-year-old from Marjory Stoneman Douglas. They read speeches, sang songs of inspiration and protest, and emphasized that they are just getting started. 

 

 Thousands of people filled Kiley Garden in downtown Tampa for the March For Our Lives Tampa rally

Thousands of people filled Kiley Garden in downtown Tampa for the March For Our Lives Tampa rally

The age of the participants was diverse but the message was the same. They think there are  too many politicians owned by the NRA, kids are more important than money and the fallacy that they are lazy and idle is wrong. They are coming after established and ineffective politicians. Many registered to vote at the tables set up at the event. According to the speakers, they are going to clean house one bought politician at a time.

 Parents brought their young children. While the march was planned mostly by high schoolers, it was attended by people of all ages.

Parents brought their young children. While the march was planned mostly by high schoolers, it was attended by people of all ages.

 The age of the protesters was diverse, but the message was unified: Never again and enough is enough.

The age of the protesters was diverse, but the message was unified: Never again and enough is enough.

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 The faces of change were evident as students raised their voices and signs in protest of recent gun violence and inaction by politicians.

The faces of change were evident as students raised their voices and signs in protest of recent gun violence and inaction by politicians.

 As participants cheered, a pro-life advocate is asked to leave by Tampa Police as she blocked the front railing next to the main stage at the rally

As participants cheered, a pro-life advocate is asked to leave by Tampa Police as she blocked the front railing next to the main stage at the rally

Following the rally they marched for over 1.5 miles through the streets of south Tampa, crossing the Kennedy bridge, heading down North Boulevard, and circling around to Cass street before heading back to Kiley Gardens.

 Demonstrators march beside Ashley Street in downtown Tampa

Demonstrators march beside Ashley Street in downtown Tampa

 The protestors made their way over the Kennedy Bridge on their 1.5 mile trek through South Tampa

The protestors made their way over the Kennedy Bridge on their 1.5 mile trek through South Tampa

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 Thousands march down Cass Street following a rally at Kiley Garden in downtown Tampa. The march ended back at the garden around 12:00 p.m.

Thousands march down Cass Street following a rally at Kiley Garden in downtown Tampa. The march ended back at the garden around 12:00 p.m.

There's a new sheriff in town, and it's the youth. They're coming for ya ploiticos! The rally, according to the speakers, is just the beginning.