Hundreds of Athens residents and Ohio University students gathered Saturday morning to support increased gun legislation during the March for Our Lives in Athens.

The march, organized by the OU College Democrats, was part of a national movement against gun violence. The rally in Athens was one of more than 800 rallies that were expected worldwide, according to The Washington Post

Bailey Williams, member of the OU College Democrats and a main organizer of the march in Athens, said he organized the march because “no one is spared” from gun violence. 

“You don’t have to be in D.C. to advocate for gun control,” Williams said. “Satellite protests and marches are just as important as the ones in D.C. to show how widespread the support for this movement is.” 

The march began on College Green and continued onto University Terrace and Park Place. The march then went through Court Street and convened back on College Green. 

Parents, children, high school students and OU students chanted sayings such as “no more silence, end gun violence,” as they marched through Athens.

After meeting on College Green, several speakers spoke in support of ending gun violence. 

One speaker, Amy Shaw, a teacher at Athens High School, said she marched because she wants to protect students.

“I believe education should be safe,” Shaw said. “Children should not have to worry about gun violence in schools.” 

Other educators also came out to support of increased gun legislation. Molly Roach, a teacher at Athens High School, said she marched to support students.

“I’m astonished at the movement from kids who have decided they can stand up to the NRA,” Athens resident Stephen Richter said. “I’m concerned about guns in schools but also gun violence anywhere. It’s anyone. It could happen to anyone anywhere.”

OU College Democrats President Ashley Fishwick said the momentum for change should not stop after the march. She stressed the importance of voting for legislators who will be held accountable for gun violence. 

“If (legislators) don’t take action by November, we will (take action) by voting them out,” Fishwick said. 

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