Activist Emma González took the stage at the March for Our Lives protest in Washington, D.C., on Saturday and held a moment of silence for several minutes that left participants in awe.
González, the student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that has become the most visible face in a growing movement to ban assault rifles, spent 6 minutes and 20 seconds on to represent the sheer magnitude of the violence she survived earlier this year.
“Six minutes and about 20 seconds. In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us,” she said once taking the staging after a slew of other activists and celebrities spoke out against gun violence. “No one knew that the people who are missing had stopped breathing long before any of us had even known that a code red had been called.”
Before beginning the moment of silence, she listed off the names of victims from her high school that she knew personally while tears fell down her cheek. As she went silent, the crowd mimicked her silence with some breaking it at times to chant “Never again.”
“Since the time I came out here, it has been 6 minutes and 20 seconds,” the student said as a buzzer went off. “The shooter ceased shooting and will soon abandon the rifle blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest.”
“Fight for your lives before it is someone else’s job,” she continued.
The rally in D.C was one of many that took place around the world as activists fight to get assault rifles banned in hopes of stopping more tragedies like the Parkland Shooting from happening again.
.@Emma4Change leads a powerful moment of silence for the Parkland victims #marchforourlives https://t.co/WnI7mnZXU8 pic.twitter.com/JtRqnjL8Hv
— David Mack (@davidmackau) March 24, 2018