Saugerties students march in NYC to protest gun violence

Students and supporters gather at the end of the bus run for a group photo before joining the march. (Photos by David Gordon)

Youths across the United States mobilized to say Never Again to gun violence. Among them, at a New York City demonstration that drew in the hundreds of thousands, were some 20 high-school students from Saugerties and an equal number of adults, not all of them parents.

The crowd on New York’s streets was estimated at 200,000. The march slogan, “March for our Lives,” appeared on printed banners and the huge television monitors that broadcast scenes from other marches and statistics on gun violence.


Leading the Saugerties group was Alana Trees of Saugerties, a junior at Saugerties High School. “I thought as students, we should do this,” she said. “Marches [across the country] were organized by students” Trees said she began organizing shortly after the shooting on February 14 of 17 students and faculty members at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Marches were organized by students, Trees said. That is one of the outstanding factors in this nationwide movement. “We [in Saugerties] thought we should do this.” Trees said she and other students did all the organizing. Her parents’ role was confined to holding the money for bus fares and turning it over to the bus company.

Saugerties student organizers were encouraged by the hundreds who participated during the national walkout, even though they remained in school for their rally. “Originally, we were going to walk out,” said Emily Christiansen, a junior. Instead, she participated in the inside-the-school rally, which she found inspiring. Christiansen said she and other student organizers were unsure of how many of those who participated in the in-school rally would make the trip to the city.

About 20 students signed up for the New York City run, with an equal number of adults, not all of them parents. The adults said they were generally impressed by the seriousness and organizational ability of students, especially since this was the first time many of them had demonstrated.

Trees and Christiansen said that they would demonstrate again if and when the need arose.

There are 2 comments

  1. Bart Friedman

    This trip to NYC to march was a good first step for Saugerties students to understand how participatory democracy works. With students around the planet joining in marches and walk-outs on March 14th it was a bit surprising that our students and school administrators “didn’t get it” when many schools and communities around the USA did. If educators and student leaders are unable or unwilling to express solidarity with a world movement for gun-reform then it’s up to each individual to take part as they see fit without fear of punishment or shame. I support this student movement and I urge adults and school officials to see the value of it as part of the educational process and as a lesson in civics.

  2. M.J. Randall

    Bart, not really sure how this is a “world movement”, as it is taking place solely in the US. Instead of doing a walk-out to protest guns, the NRA, and current politicians, maybe the students should engage more in an anti-bullying campaign. If you treat others the way you want (and deserve) to be treated, much of this “gun violence” will cease to exist. Until then, you are simply putting a band-aid on a sucking chest wound. Young people need to be taught discipline and responsibility in their homes, and the other issues will do away with themselves.

Comments are closed.