Participants hold up signs as students and gun control advocates hold the "March for Our Lives" event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. (REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)
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Bundled against the cold but fired up with passion after a Florida high school massacre, crowds gathered in Washington Saturday for what is expected to be the biggest US gun control protest in a generation, with hundreds of thousands attending.The student-organized protest is to feature rallies from coast to coast, with the main event in Washington within sight of the US Capitol -- whose lawmakers the protesters hope to influence. Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida -- where 17 students and staff were shot dead on February 14 by a 19-year-old former classmate -- have been the driving force behind the march.Organizers say more than 800 marches are being held across the country and around the world under the slogan #NeverAgain.Although the Florida mass shooting triggered the movement, it has embraced the entire problem of gun violence in a nation that sees more than 30,000 gun-related deaths a year.Lyft, the ride-hailing service, said it would offer free rides to 50 marches around the United States.According to a Quinnipiac University poll, 63 percent of American voters approve of the march in support of tougher gun laws but are not optimistic it will lead to new legislation.
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