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North Dakotans Plan Saturday Marches to Protest Gun Violence

Students nationwide walked out of class last week to protest gun violence. (Jeffrey Bary/Flickr)
Students nationwide walked out of class last week to protest gun violence. (Jeffrey Bary/Flickr)
March 21, 2018

FARGO, N.D. — North Dakotans of all ages are joining students across the country on Saturday in the March for Our Lives.

Protests are scheduled for Bismarck, Fargo, and Minot to support the survivors of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting as they march in Washington, D.C., and demand that Congress pass gun control measures. The nationwide "March for Our Lives" is building on momentum after a massive school walkout last week.

But Sarah Light, a sophomore at Fargo North High School who took part in the walkout, said she's faced skepticism about whether marching is effective.

"They think that marching or protesting doesn't actually produce change,” Light said. “And I think that throughout history, that has proven to be wrong, and that this can actually make a difference."

The Fargo march begins at 1 p.m. at the Sanctuary Events Center downtown. Speakers include state Rep. Karla Rose Hanson, D-Fargo.

Opponents of gun control measures say they don't prevent gun violence, and they infringe on Americans' Second Amendment rights.

The Fargo chapter of Moms Demand Action, a group that advocates for stricter gun laws, is helping organize the local march. Cheryl Biller heads the chapter and said she was motivated by the students of Parkland to march in solidarity. Her organization is in favor of strengthening background checks and opposes proposals to arm teachers.

"I want our kids to be able to go to school and not have to do active shooter drills,” Biller said. “And if we have all this money for guns, I would like to see it be spent on, to begin with, the basic needs of students and teachers - and then if we have more, on things that make education even better. I think spending money on guns in school is a bad idea."

The D.C. march is being organized in partnership with the group Everytown for Gun Safety. According to the March for Our Lives website, more than 800 sibling protests are scheduled worldwide.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ND