Hundreds fill downtown Toledo's streets for "March for Our Lives" rally

Published: Mar. 24, 2018 at 9:51 PM EDT
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It was a call for action on Toledo's streets.

"Who wants to go to school when they're afraid of being shot?," said Waite High School senior Mateo Cuevas.

Hundreds of people, many of them students, marched together Saturday calling for change to our nation's gun laws.

The march to Government Center fell in line with a similar one held in Washington D.C. that was organized by survivors of the Florida school shooting.

"It was nice to come out here to be heard and listened to and just to be here and celebrate all our commons and just go out and demand for change for safer schools and better graduation rates with more help and safe places to talk to," said Cuevas.

Before taking to the streets students from all backgrounds took the stage at Promenade Park.

"I'd like to choose to feel safe in my school," said one student who spoke at the podium. "Doesn't that seem fair?"

At the microphone and in the crowd, many of students put pressure on lawmakers to end gun violence in the country.

"If you can't hear us, we'll keep speaking louder," said Notre Dame Academy freshman Gabriella Rabas. "We're not going to back down now, not never because enough is enough and it's never again."

While Toledo's march was spearheaded by area youth, adults also backed the movement.

"We sit in a boardroom--we're talking about it--we think we're making changes, but the fact of the matter is they saw yet another tragedy happen," said YWCA President and CEO Lisa McDuffie.

McDuffie's organization helped students plan the march, but she says she was glad to see students take control.

"The youth are speaking out, the youth want to be heard and the youth are demanding change," said McDuffie. "And if they're demanding it, why not let them lead us?"

It's through that leadership that has students hoping their call for change will make a difference in our country.

"With all the crowd we got and all the eyes we had from spreading the message out, I feel like there's going to be change coming soon," said Cuevas.