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'Enough is enough': School students across the US stage walkouts against gun violence

The protests come after 17 people were killed during a school shooting in Florida last month.

Student Walkout Gun Violence Students from Douglas Freeman High School walk out of school to participate in a gun violence protest Source: Steve Helber via AP

STUDENTS ACROSS THE United States have walked out of classes today in a nationwide call for action against gun violence following the shooting deaths last month at a Florida high school.

Hundreds of students from Washington area schools gathered outside the White House chanting “Never again!” and “Enough is enough!” and holding signs reading “Protect People Not Guns”.

At 10am, students in numerous cities held a moment of silence to honour the 14 students and three adult staff killed on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Student Walkouts Gun Violence Students bring posters along to a protest in Jersey City, New Jersey Source: Julio Cortez via AP

The “National School Walkout” was intended to last for 17 minutes, one for each victim.

But it quickly became apparent that many students at schools on the East Coast decided not to go to classes at all and to demonstrate instead.

The nationwide protest is being held one month to the day after Nikolas Cruz, a troubled 19-year-old former student at Stoneman Douglas, unleashed a hail of gunfire on his former classmates.

Student protest Students from Miami County Day School walk out of their school to protest gun violence Source: Marta Lavandier via AP

The event to honour those slain at Stoneman Douglas is also an act of protest against the firearms violence plaguing the US, which has more than 30,000 gun-related deaths annually.

Organisers come from the same group behind the Women’s March, which saw millions of demonstrators take to the streets in cities across the country in January 2017 to protest Donald Trump’s White House inauguration.

Trump had momentarily signalled support for increasing restrictions on guns, but now stands accused of bowing to the powerful US gun lobby.

© – AFP 2018

Read: Florida brings in new law to restrict gun access, NRA immediately launches legal bid to block it

More: Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz formally charged with 17 counts of murder

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