WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Hundreds of thousands of people flooded Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. Saturday for the “March For Our Lives” lead by the survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
“Welcome to the revolution,” Cameron Kasky kicked off the speeches, following a performance of “Rise Up” by Andra Day and Common.
Day told the crowd to “rise up and stand up.”
Many of them were standing since 6 a.m. when they first arrived at the site of the mega rally, hours ahead of its noon start time.
Speaker after speaker, all of them students from across the country, proclaimed “enough is enough.”
“This is more than just a march. This is more than just one day,” said Delaney Tarr, one of the Stoneman Douglas students who traveled to Tallahassee just days after the shooting to turn her anger into action. “This isn’t just a single day in the span of history. This is a movement.”
Many in the crowd carried signs challenging the National Rifle Association.
Stoneman Douglas student Sarah Chadwick called out one Florida lawmaker by name.
“When you take 3,149,167, the number of students enrolled in Florida schools, and divide it by $3,303,355, the amount of money Marco Rubio has received from the NRA, it comes out to $1.05. Is that all we’re worth to these politicians?” Chadwick asked to a round of cheers.
The students actually wore orange “price tags” that said $1.05 during the event.
Kasky laid out the objectives of the movement.
“Politicians, either represent the people or get out,” he said. “The people demand a law banning the sale of assault weapons. The people demand we prohibit the sale of high capacity magazines. The people demand universal background checks.”
“We need to arm our teachers. We need to arm them with pencils, pens, paper and with money they need,” said Stoneman Douglas student Ryan Dietch.
It wasn’t just Marjory Stoneman Douglas students taking a stand.
Students from Chicago, DC and South LA spoke, too.
Edna Chavez says she lost her brother to gun violence.
The crowd chanted his name, “Ricardo”, when she asked them to say her brother’s name with her.
Speaker Zion Kelly’s twin brother was a victim of gun violence, too.
So was Matt Soto’s sister.
“At the age of 15, I sat in my high school Spanish class while my sister Victoria Soto was slaughtered in her first grade classroom,” Soto said.
Survivors of the school shooting at Sandy Hook elementary presented Stoneman Douglas students with a banner, saying they stand with them.
The intensity of the emotions on the world stage proved to be too much for some.
Shooting survivor Sam Fuentes actually got sick on stage, but then kept on going.
“I just threw up on international television and I feel great!” she shouted.
Fuentes also asked the crowd to sing “Happy Birthday” to Nicholas Dworet.
The Parkland shooting victim would have turned 18 Saturday.
Instead, his classmates honored his memory along with the memory of the shooting victim’s whose stories go untold.
“I am here to represent the African American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper,” said 11-year-old Naomi Wadler, who staged a walk-out at her school earlier this month.
And channeling her grandfather Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 9-year-old Yolanda King shared her own dream while standing hand-in-hand with Parkland student Jaclyn Corin.
“I have a dream that Enough is Enough,” King said.
Jennifer Hudson wrapped up the event with a rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Time’s They Are A Changin'” through tears. She lost her mother, brother and new phew to gun violence.
Other performers included Broadway stars Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt, who sang the song “Found Tonight” which they created specifically for the march.
Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande each sang songs with messages of hope, perseverance and strength
But perhaps the most powerful message of the day came from speaker Emma Gonzalez, who barely spoke at all.
“Since I came out here, it has been 6 minutes and 20 seconds,” she said after standing in silence for several minutes. “The shooter has ceased shooting and has since abandoned his rifle. Blend in with the students as they escape and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”
The crowd went wild as she walked off stage.