Bloomington students organize March For Our Lives in downtown Bloomington

Jen Crystal, Staff Writer

Students and other Bloomington community members took to the streets this past Saturday, in the hail and snow, to protest the recent mass shootings and incomprehensive gun laws within our society. This was a part of the nation-wide March for Our Lives movement.

The Bloomington March for Our Lives was organized by the BHSS Young Democrats’ leadership team: senior Baileigh Goodlett, senior Elena Stalnaker, junior Nidhi Krishnan and sophomore Logan Hanchett.

The planning of this protest began at 7 p.m. the previous night. Young Democrats leaders wanted to attend the Indianapolis march, as did many other Bloomington residents, but, due to poor weather conditions, they decided to put together a march themselves.

“It was a protest about school shootings, so it needed to be led by students,” Krishnan said.

After Goodlett’s opening remarks, Krishnan gave a speech about the issue of guns in this day and age and about the importance of voting in order to truly see change within our society.

“It’s really important to get out and vote because there are issues that directly affect us like standardized testing, college tuition and especially gun control. These issues are all directly affecting our schools and our friends. Since they have an impact on our lives, we should be going out and voting. It’s the best way to have have our voices heard and preserve democracy,” Krishnan said.

The mic/megaphone was then opened up to the marchers so that they could share their thoughts and beliefs on the subject. Gun owners, teachers and parents commented during this period.

Protesters marched to Sample Gates and back in the freezing hail and snow. They were met by screaming college students in front of Kilroys and encouraging elders by the library. Marchers walked with their signs and umbrellas held high as the hail poured down.

“We see people that are dying who are kids, and we see people losing their lives. So, we’re going to stand here, in the freezing rain, until something happens,” Krishnan said.

“We’ve definitely organized events in the past but nothing of this scale, nothing this successful. We were all taken aback and happy that something we did was able to have such a big impact in the community,” Goodlett said.  

At the march, Young Democrats club had forms available to register people to vote. This is a part of the club’s ongoing efforts to increase voter turnout, especially among the younger generation. This has included registering students to vote during SRT and lunch periods.

“In general, we want young people voting but especially now. This is an issue that affects young people more than any issue has before. We are the kids who fear for our lives when we go to school, so I think it’s important that we are the ones voting and getting lawmakers into office who support us in our efforts and respect our ideas and beliefs,” Goodlett said.

Goodlett closed by reminding everyone that “it doesn’t end today.”

The March for Our Lives movement has helped to continue the discussion of gun control and school shooting prevention. However, this march is in no way the end of the movement. People like Krishnan, Goodlett, Stalnaker and Hanchett plan to continue pushing for change.

“I know these marches are important, but we can’t let the fire die. This has happened for too many shootings. In order for this time to be different, we need to keep constantly calling for change and action,” Krishnan said.