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Crime & Justiceby Fern Shen4:15 pmMar 24, 20180

In Baltimore, youth demand action on gun control

“Can you see the kids run? Can you hear the kids scream? Can you see the kids bleed? Can you feel the kids die? Protect our children!”

Above: Marchers on Baltimore’s Key Highway said they want politicians to hear their call for more gun control. (Fern Shen)

Normally sleepy on a chilly Saturday morning, downtown Baltimore streets were filled today with the sound of fiery speeches and spirited chanting as hundreds joined a national protest calling for stricter gun control.

Pegged to the latest mass shooting – 17 people at a Florida high school cut down by a gunman with an assault-style weapon – the Baltimore march, like others across the country, was dominated by young people.

“We shouldn’t have to fight for our lives,” “Protect kids, not guns” and “DO SOMETHING,” their signs said.

“NRA, Go away!” and “Not one more in Baltimore!” the marchers chanted.

One older participant was struck by the way she could hear a younger generation take up familiar calls for change.

“It was so great to hear ‘This is what democracy looks like,’ but in this higher pitch – all these young voices,” said Cynthia Zanti Jabs. “These kids are lighting a fire.”


The March for Our Lives crowd assembles outside of Baltimore City Hall. (Kevin Grishkot)

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Anna Hilger, the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute freshman who organized the city rally, speaks at War Memorial Plaza. (Kevin Grishkot)

Parents seemed to sense that a torch was being passed, too.

“I loved hearing one Mom explain the Bill of Rights to a kid in a stroller, the importance of the freedom to speak and to assemble,” Jabs said.

Several made the point that politicians ignore these young voices at their peril.

“Do your representatives accept money from the NRA?” one young man asked with his handheld sign, that included the link to a Washington Post story detailing contributions that members of Congress have accepted from the National Rifle Association.

Several marchers made the point that politicians ignore these young voices at their peril.

While some made their statements in Baltimore, other city residents participated in the “March for Our Lives” rally held today in Washington. (Mayor Catherine Pugh said the city was providing 60 buses Saturday for about 3,000 kids.)

Other area cities saw marchers turn in out, including Annapolis.

Here are scenes from today’s march, which traveled from the War Memorial Plaza through downtown to the South Baltimore side of the Inner Harbor.

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“Break the silence, end gun violence,” marchers chant. (Kevin Grishkot)


“Paper, pencils, a functioning pencil sharpener, up-to-date textbooks, smaller class sizes, school psychologists, healthy school lunches . . .” What these women said public schools need rather than more guns. (Cynthia Zanti Jabs)


“21st Century weapons + 18th Century laws = Buffoonery.” (Fern Shen)

“Lawmakers are not ballot-proof,” warns this marcher. (Fern Shen)


On Key Highway near Digital Harbor High School. (Fern Shen)


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Another scene from the March for Our Lives protest on Key Highway. (Kevin Grishkot)

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