Thousands of people packed Hinds Plaza and neighboring streets in downtown Princeton on Saturday afternoon to demand that elected officials take action to end gun violence.
The gathering, organized by Princeton High School senior Dziyana Zubialevich with the support of several local organizations, was the largest rally ever at Hinds Plaza. Princeton residents say the event was the largest rally in Princeton over the last quarter century or more. Supporters packed the plaza, and Witherspoon Street had to be blocked off because people filled the street from Spring Street to Paul Robeson Place, also gathering on side streets and parking lots, or watching from area buildings and waving posters from windows.
Families and supporters of all ages came out on the sunny Saturday in Princeton to demand gun control legislation as part of the”March for Our Lives” day that took place in cities across the country. But it was young people who took center stage at the event that included music and speeches by students from the region and beyond.
High school and college students urged members of the audience to contact their legislators to voice their support for gun control measures as the crowd chanted “enough is enough” and “vote them out.”
“We the children march today because our lives are at stake.Our leaders have failed us,” Vidhya Dhar, a student at East Brunswick High School, told the crowd. “We need laws that make schools all across America safer. No one is safe until we are all safe.”
Dhar and other speakers said students will no longer be ignored and will come out in the millions to vote.
“I have faith in my fellow students and in America’s youth, that we will not stand for Congress’s complacency,” she said. “If they can not fight the gun lobby, then we will vote them out. Our best weapon for change is our vote.”