Hundreds of students flooded the streets of Portland on Friday to mark the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, to protest gun violence and address what they consider an ineffective response to school shootings.
Signs and chants during two separate marches indicated students wanted the controversial conversation about gun control to move more quickly.
Amongst the students who walked out of class at 10 a.m. Friday morning to participate in the marches, Clare Barnes and Ginger Felberg, two Wilson High School students, attempted to document the protest for their school magazine.
“We’re going to be the new generation and I think we need to have a voice, we need to know what our voice is and we need to like share it,” said Felberg, a Wilson sophomore.
The students in Barnes and Felberg’s group walked briskly, even breaking into a sprint at times, before finally reaching and occupying the steps of Portland City Hall.
“I think it’s great. The youth is our future, and they have a voice, and it needs to be heard,” said John St. Claire, who happened by and stopped to watch the protesters.
Others, however, contacted FOX 12 and expressed frustration about the students marching through downtown.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler stopped to greet the protesters on two separate occasions, and even promised action on his part.
Wheeler said he supports a local ban on assault-style weapons, and said he plans to travel to Salem to ask state legislators to remove the preemption on local gun control measures, which would allow Portland to enact its own gun control measures.
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