WESTFIELD, NJ — Four students from Westfield High School are planning a “March for Our Lives” in Westfield March 24. The event, which will call on US government for stricter gun laws and memorialize the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last month, will be one of hundreds around the nation.
“Right after the Parkland shooting, I just felt so helpless because of the distance,” Emily Bloomfield, a senior at WHS, said. She said she looked for a local March for Our Lives to attend, but couldn’t find one, so she decided to create one in her own town. (A Union County March for Our Lives has been planned to take place that day in Union.)
Bloomfield acknowledged that having a march in Westfield might take some people away from the other marches. But she said she also believed that creating a march in town may encourage more people to participate, especially students who can’t drive yet.
“Even though the numbers might be split, I think it’s a great thing,” Bloomfield said. “The fact that people want to start all of these movements in their hometowns is a great thing.”
Bloomfield turned to the organizers of the Women’s March in Westfield for advice about how to plan the event.
“They’ve been super helpful,” Bloomfield said. “It’s a very big thing to tackle.”
Since then, she said, fellow WHS students Katie Clark, Linzy Rosen and Will Rackear reached out to help plan the march.
The students put up a Facebook page for the march on Wednesday and within five hours more than 100 people had signed up, according to Bloomfield.
“It was like wildfire,” she said. “It’s been really empowering and it’s give me a lot of hope.”
The march will begin at 10 a.m. on the south side of the Westfield train station. For more information, click here.
Westfield students are also planning a 17-minute school walk out in support of new gun control-related legislation on March 14.