Tens of thousands of people across Georgia are expected to participate in the state’s 16 March for Our Lives events, with Atlanta police expecting between 7,000 and 10,000 in the city alone.
"Our elected officials haven’t done their job in ensuing our safety, so we’re taking our voices to the street and claiming our power, saying if you’re not going to do your job then we’ll vote you out,” said Atlanta march organizer Royce Mann.
Katrina Taylor Park, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms' chief of staff, said the mayor's office donated $20,000 to the march, money that will cover police, security and EMS services along the route.
Park stressed the city isn't spending money to support the event's message but rather to support Atlanta's youth expressing their First Amendment rights.
"I go to a public high school, and the shooting in Parkland, Fla., could have happened at my school,” said march organizer Kailen Kim, a 10th grader at Etowah High School. “I want to make sure everyone knows gun violence affects everyone.”
Atlanta police say they are prepared for the march, which begins at the Center for Civil and Human Rights and ends at the state capitol.
The good thing is we’ve have many conversations with the organizers,” said Deputy Chief Scott Kreher. “We’re all on the same page about what we want. They want a peaceful march with no problems and we want to be sure that everyone goes home safe.”
Roads along Atlanta's route will close around 10 am.
The national flagship march is in Washington, DC, at noon on Saturday. There are more 840 marches planned worldwide, and a complete list can be found by clicking here.
Here’s the list of Georgia marches:
- Dalton, 11:30 am, Selvidge Street
- Rome, noon, Veterans Memorial Highway
- Columbus, 11 am, 1000 Broadway
- Dahlonega, noon, 1 Public Square
- Clarksville, 10 am, 555 Monroe Street
- Athens, 1 pm, downtown
- Watkinsville, 11 am, 3500 Hog Mountain Road
- Covington, 11 am, 2101 Washington Street
- Ellenwood, 10 am, 2360 River Road
- Atlanta, 11 am, 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard
- Atlanta, 10 am, 3450 Benjamin E Mays Dr SW
- Augusta, 11 am, corner of Belair and Cox roads
- Augusta, noon, 836 Reynolds Street
- Statesboro, 1 pm, 85 Georgia Avenue
- Savannah, 1 pm, Bull Street
- Brunswick, 10 am, 1402 Sonny Miller Way