Students silent no more on gun violence
  • Saturday, November 17, 2018
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Students silent no more on gun violence

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Participants with the “March for Our Lives” rally crossed South King Street today as they walked toward the Prince Kuhio Federal Building.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Keiki held protest signs and crosses bearing the names of those who were killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February at the “March for Our Lives” rally today at the Hawaii state Capitol.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    University of Hawaii student and organizer Sarah Catino rallied the crowd at the “March for Our Lives” event today at the Hawaii state Capitol.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Participants of the “March for Our Lives” rally stopped by the Hawaii Department of Education building today during the march.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Participants with the “March for Our Lives” rally crossed Queen Street today as they walked toward the Prince Kuhio Federal Building.

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Thousands in Hawaii joined hundreds of thousands more across the country today to march in support of a national youth movement demanding an end to gun violence.

Marches were held on Kauai, Maui, Oahu and Hawaii island. On Oahu, there were rallies at Ala Moana Beach Park, the state Capitol and in Kailua. On Maui, a “Concert for Our Lives” with Jack Johnson, Willie Nelson and other headliners, was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. today after a march at the University of Hawaii Maui College.

Organizers expect 5,000 people to attend the concert at Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului.

At the state Capitol, organizers said thousands of people attended despite the rain. Participants marched in ponchos and under umbrellas from the Capitol to the Prince Kuhio Federal Building, then to the Department of Education and back. They carried signs with such messages as “My money is on the kids” and “NRA” with a slash through it, referring to the National Rifle Association.

Monica Kenny, 16, a junior at Sacred Hearts Academy, said she helped organize the march at the state Capitol because she wanted to support the students in Parkland, Fla., where a gunman killed 17 students last month and she didn’t want the movement to die out.

“We have to do something about it because if we don’t no one else will,” she said. “It’s about saving people’s lives. That’s what we want, less dead people.”

Participants held a rally in the Capitol’s rotunda after the march.

Speaking at the rally, Lily Kim-Dela Cruz, 20, a sophomore at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, raised issue with how some school officials had threatened to take away prom or other student activities if they participated in a student walkout earlier this month.

She questioned how it could be that students live in a country that promotes free speech and “they take it back when it matters the most.”

“Do not be silenced,” she said.

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