54.5 F
Bellingham
Thursday, October 1, 2020

Western students walk out in national protest against gun violence

By Alissa Vanlandingham

Joining schools across the country, Western students protested gun violence on Wednesday, March 14, by participating in a walkout from 10-10:17 a.m. Each minute marked each life taken in last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

On a damp gray morning in Bellingham, approximately 200 students, faculty and community members slowly filed into Red Square just after the carillon bells chimed to mark the hour.

With rain falling lightly, some students began laying down on the bricks and others symbolically outlined their still bodies in chalk. The crowd was silent.

Students lie on damp bricks during National Walk Out // Photo by October Yates

“It was really emotional,” senior Emma Scalzo said after the protest. “I already knew I was going to be emotional. I was crying about this on my way to campus.”

Scalzo, a political science major, said she was impressed by how these nationwide walkouts were organized by high schoolers, most of whom aren’t even old enough to vote.

“It’s so influential,” she said. “The people in Congress defending gun rights have never been on the other side of an AR-15. They need to realize there are student’s lives at stake.”

A few impromptu speakers stood atop picnic tables and encouraged further activism, hammering in the point that action couldn’t stop here.

One speaker suggested students call the White House during the protest to demand change. Another reminded the crowd that their vote is their voice.

In front of Miller Hall, community members set up a booth where people could register to vote.

“I am just so happy I can be here and that I was asked to come, ” said Catherine Major, who was helping register people. “This issue- it’s close to my heart.

The protest brought around 200 Western community members to Red Square, including President Sabah Randhawa. // Photo by October Yates.

Fairhaven faculty member John Bower stood up to share the story of his wife and daughter who witnessed a shooting last year.

His daughter is now a member of the group Students For Action, created by students from four Bellingham area high schools to demand increased school safety. The group will be headed to Washington D.C. for the March for Our Lives Rally on March 24.

Around the country, students as young as 11 walked out on Wednesday. Some protests included repeating the names of the Parkland victims, and others involved releasing 17 balloons into the sky. Students in Washington D.C. took to the White House chanting, “We want change” and “never again,” according to reports from CNN.

Bower said some students are calling for walkouts on the 14th of each month until Congress acts on gun reform.

1 COMMENT

  1. If you are a Western student, staff or faculty member interested in getting involved, please join WWU Students Against Gun Violence that planned this action on campus.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3,934FansLike
1,241FollowersFollow
5,479FollowersFollow
58SubscribersSubscribe

Trending

Sports: Pros and cons of Seahawks’ NFL draft pick Malik McDowell

Why did the Seahawks go after a defensive tackle with their first selection in the 2017 NFL draft? Coming off...

Anti-cheating software privacy concerns

Honorlock can read access certain data and content of the user. // Screen captured by Tony...

Bellingham poverty rate predicted to rise.

Unemployment, lack of housing and COVID-19 contributing to countywide struggle.  By Taylor Bayly 

Latest News

The Western Front’s response to racial injustice

Changes made to address current violence toward BIPOC, bias in our reporting

Whatcom County officials hold first public meeting on race and equity

Community members share grievances and experiences with Bellingham Police Department Whatcom County officials and community...

Whatcom County Council postpones vote on behavioral health services

Motion is still expected to pass, providing crucial programs for students Council members debate postponing...

Bellingham poverty rate predicted to rise.

Unemployment, lack of housing and COVID-19 contributing to countywide struggle.  By Taylor Bayly  A...

Title IX federal regulations go into effect on Aug. 14

How will these changes impact Western’s community? By Ivy Munyon Amidst...

More Articles Like This