MIAMI: High school students in Parkland, Florida – where a former student shot dead 17 people in February – will start traveling across the United States this month to urge young people to stand up and vote against the powerful gun rights lobby.
The national tour announced Monday and dubbed the "March For Our Lives: Road to Change" will kick off June 15 and is slated to make 50 stops in more than 20 states – "places where the NRA National Rifle Association) has bought and paid for politicians who refuse to take simple steps to save our lives," the movement's website said.
The goal is to "hold politicians accountable," said Cameron Kasky, a teen activist who helped found the March For Our Lives campaign after surviving the carnage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
"Our generation and many generations that are helping us can change the game," said the 17-year-old, who cannot yet vote himself. "We do not have to surrender to dirty, awful politics."
During the tour organizers will register young people to vote in the run-up to November's midterm elections, as well as advocate reforms for stricter gun control and promote the election of politicians behind such legislative change.
Activists will hold a separate tour in Florida and visit every congressional district there, organizers say.
On Sunday, students graduating from Marjory Stoneman Douglas took part in a moving commencement ceremony with a surprise address from celebrity late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon.
"Thank you for your courage and your bravery," he told the students, before the victims of the shooting received post-humous diplomas. "You took something horrific, and instead of letting it stop you, you started a movement."