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Parkland students kick off bus tour in Chicago suburb

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Student survivors of February’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Friday kicked off their March for Our Lives: Road to Change national tour in Chicago.

Hundreds gathered for the rally at St. Sabina’s Catholic Church on Chicago’s South Side, the Chicago Tribune reported. Among them were featured guests including Chance the Rapper, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz), Jennifer Hudson, and

The event, dubbed the South Side Peace March, kicked off a 50-plus-stop tour for students who aim to rally young potential voters to register ahead of November’s midterm elections. Student survivors and gun control activists spoke at the rally, touting the importance of taking action.

“Four million people in this country turn 18 this year,” said Jammal Lemy, according to the Tribune. Lemy graduated from Parkland, Florida’s, Marjory Stoneman Douglas in 2016 and lost two close friends in the shooting. “We have the opportunity to empower the youth and to push a voter registration drive.”

The bus tour comes months after survivors of the Parkland shooting reawakened the debate about gun legislation in the U.S.

In March, one month after the shooting, students organized the “March for Our Lives” rally against gun violence in Washington, D.C., with several other marches taking place across the U.S. The event, which drew thousands, marked the beginning of student activists’ movement to encourage young voting-age teens and adults to register.

According to David Hogg, one of the shooting’s most visible survivors, the bus tour aims to “promote the largest youth voter turnout ever.” 

“Over the summer we’re going to key congressional districts…we’re basically trying to promote the largest youth voter turnout ever in the history of the United States,” Hogg told ABC News’s “Nightline” earlier this month.

Student activists boarded the tour bus at the end of Friday’s rally. The tour is staying in Chicago where they will hold a cookout and voter registration drive on Sunday.

Tags David Hogg Gabrielle Giffords Gun politics in the United States gun violence Jennifer Hudson March For Our Lives Stoneman Douglas High School shooting

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