A month after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida left 17 people dead, hundreds of thousands around the nation rallied Saturday calling for change.
In Albuquerque, masses of students and their supporters took part in the local March For Our Lives.
“No student should feel fear while walking through the doors of their school,” said a student organizer to a crowd estimated at more than 8,000 people at Tiguex Park.
They raised their messages high and chanted things like, “We want safety, safety in our schools,” through the streets of Albuquerque
The student-organized March for our Lives started in Old Town this morning and made its way to Tiguex Park.
“In the wake of the Parkland shooting, we want to gather together in solidarity with the victims,” explained High school junior, Vera Berger.
Students had a range of reasons for joining the national movement.
“All my friends are scared of their hallways and my mom is scared of getting that text that I’m not going to come home but I’m just angry that nobody is doing anything about this,” said Citlali Tierney from La Cueva High School.
Many took it as an opportunity to call on Congress to implement stricter gun laws.
“The prohibition of high capacity magazines,” said Tierney
“We think that especially increasing background checks will be important,” Berger explained.
“Students should be worried about their next math test not if they’re going to make it home at the end of the day,” said a student organizer on stage.
Jen Hurst came to the Metro from Aztec. “It was the scariest day of my life I hope I never have a day scarier than that,” she said.
Her son goes to Aztec High School, where two of his classmates were killed in a shooting in December.
“I saw the way it affected people’s grades, it affected the way people lived, the whole school after that just wasn’t the same,” Riley Merritt said.
Students say they just want their voices heard.
“We can’t vote and I don’t think that means that we shouldn’t have a voice in politics because this issue is of relevance to us,” Berger explained.
Adults, teachers and local leaders echoed the student’s concerns.
“I stand with you as you continue to march for your lives,” said a speaker.
March for our Lives rallies were also held throughout the state.
About 500 people attended Rio Rancho’s event. People also took to the streets in Roswell. And Santa Fe held a march at the roundhouse.