Chabot college joined most of the country on March 14 in a nationwide walkout at Cesar Chavez square protesting gun violence. The protest was inspired by the recent Parkland High School shooting that left 17 dead in Florida.
A lone drum beat a steady tone while students marched out to the square with victims of gun violence pictures hanging from the trees. Most students were quiet. Over 150 students and staff participated in the walkout.
At well as over 3,000 schools across the nation, similar scenes unfolded. However at least one student there did not agree with his peers, Gavin a second-year mechanical student wore an NRA shirt. He said his choice of attire was unintentional but “I am glad I wore it.” He also said we should always blame the individual for the crime and not the object.
Almost everyone else at the rally was on the same page, that legislators had to act to prevent gun violence.
“I am here for the injustice of gun violence,” said Gezzel Sanchez a first-year EMT major.
Christina, a staff member at Chabot college, summarized feelings of many people at the protest “young people taking action is the source of change.” and “with our leaders acting like children it’s time for our children to act as leaders.” She would also go on to call President Trump’s plan to arm teachers “stupid.”
After 20 minutes the rally moved inside where students and staff talked about how gun violence affected their lives. One man shared a story of how his cousin, a church deacon, was shot 13 times over a game of dominoes, a woman talked of how her husband and father of 3 kids was shot outside her home for no reason, and another woman described both of her brothers being murdered in a five-month period.
Although there was a healthy amount of optimism at the protest, many doubted the current administration would do anything. Emma, a fourth-year undeclared major, said: “I hope they take action, but this has to be the most unproductive congress in history.”