City turns out for gun violence protest

Kayla Gonzalez, Staff Writer

Their chants echoing along San Bernardo Avenue, students, teachers, parents, and their supporters marched from the LISD Performing Arts Center on March 24. They carried signs and demanded action against gun violence.

Protestors were pleading with the lawmakers to take care of children, which is why they marched.

March for our Lives is a student-driven movement that included over 800 similar events throughout the United States and around the world.

We are going to be heard and if they don’t want to listen then we are going to elect someone who will.”

— Alex De Leon

The march started at 9:30 a.m. and ended at Pan American Courts as people chanted, “What do we want?” “Gun reform.” “When do we want it?” “Now.”

Once at Pan American Courts students and supporters spoke about gun violence, while other chanted “What do we want Laredo?” “Safer schools.” “When do we want it?” “Now,” and “Enough is enough.”

Host and radio announcer Sammy the House introduced Father Paul, who had 20 children between the ages of six to seven holding white roses, each representing a life lost in the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Then he called for a moment of silence for them.

Mateo Serna, 10 years old, read a letter that his 7-year-old brother wrote for President Donald Trump.

“Dear Mr. President Trump. You should change the law. A student protected his classmates and got shot five times with a rifle and had to go to the hospital. I’m scared ‘cause when I go to high school what if that happens to me?,” Serna said.

Camila Sanmiguel, a senior at Alexander High School, spoke next.

“This is what it look likes when humanity sputters, when it fixates and bleeds and it’s helpless when its children are buried,” she said.

Throughout the event there was a table to pre-register to vote and to give out community service hours for students.

Another speaker urged action on changing gun laws.

“We are calling on gun reform and we’re demanding action to be taken to protect our people. This is just the beginning. We are going to be heard and if they don’t want to listen then we are going to elect someone who will,” Alex De Leon, an event organizer, said.

One speaker said children should be the government’s priority.

“Tell these words to the children who are running faster than the bullets shot at them that they come first,” a speaker named Amanda said.

Abigail Mendia, 12, and 11-year-old Jazmine Treviño, both 6th graders at Clark Middle, spoke about lockdowns.

“Lockdowns are so scary because nobody tells us if there is an active shooter or if it’s just a drill,” they said. “We don’t want to be afraid for the safety of our younger brother, sister, or friends. We won’t stop fighting till something changes and we are all safe.”