San Diego teens prepare to March for Our Lives'

Rally against gun violence is Saturday
Posted at 8:35 AM, Mar 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-23 21:32:32-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - An estimated 6,000 people will gather at the Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego Saturday for the "March for Our Lives," a teen-organized march to demand change to the country's gun laws.

In the weeks leading up to the March 24 event, teenagers in San Diego have been busy getting ready.

"This could be my school, my friends," said Zachary Patterson, an 8th grader on the organizing committee. "That's why it's worth giving up my Friday nights and a Saturday morning to get this message out."

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Organizers have spent hours making sure everything is ready. This past week, they had a sign-making party for teens to put their thoughts into words. They're also lining up speakers for the rally and using social media to get the word out about the march.

"Everybody's on the same page," said Mohamed El Nakib, a teacher who's helping the kids put it all together. "Everybody believes in the message."

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The march, one of hundreds around the nation planned for this Saturday, comes in the wake of the school shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida. Since then, students have spent the last month making sure gun reform stays in the national conversation.

Saturday's march will call for three main changes:

-- a ban on assault style rifles, like the AR-15, used in the Parkland shooting and several other high-profile shootings
-- a ban on high-capacity magazines
-- the closing of loopholes that make it possible for people to buy a gun without a background check

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The march in San Diegobegins with a rally at 10 a.m. at Waterfront Park, across from the Star of India. Students will speak for about 45 minutes, and then they'll march down Harbor Drive and back up Pacific Highway.

"We're not letting any politicians speak," said Patterson. "We want this to be all about the teenagers and what we're hoping to do."

The Metropolitan Transit System did not announce any extra service for the event.

Similar marches are planned in Encinitas at Swami's Beach, 1298 N. Coast Highway, and Escondido City Hall at 201 Broadway, also at 10 a.m.