Thousands of people marched through the streets of downtown Riverside Saturday as part of a nationwide show of solidarity with the Florida high school mass shooting survivors who are advocating for stronger gun control laws with a major demonstration in Washington, D.C.

Marchers of all ages congregated outside the Riverside Historic Courthouse and then marched in a one-mile loop through downtown Riverside.

Participants chanted and held signs, some of which read “Arm our kids to shoot for the stars (and not each other)” and “Future teacher here and no I don’t want to be armed.”

The march was co-sponsored by student-led March for Our Lives Riverside and the Riverside County Brady Campaign.

Organizing materials list a platform demanding “safe schools, common sense gun laws and for the government to reaffirm our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, free from fear.

“We believe that students and staff have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school. We are not safe at school. We are not safe in our cities and towns. Congress must take meaningful action to keep us safe.”

The Trump Administration issued a statement Saturday about the nationwide demonstrations through Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters.

“We applaud the many courageous young Americans exercising their First Amendment rights today,” Walters said. “Keeping our children safe is a top priority of the president’s, which is why he urged Congress to pass the Fix NICS and STOP School Violence Acts, and signed them into law. Additionally, on Friday, the Department of Justice issued the rule to ban bump stocks, following through on the president’s commitment to ban devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns.”

Four other marches are taking place across Riverside County Saturday morning in Temecula, Hemet, Idyllwild and Palm Springs.

The Palm Springs Police Department asked motorists to avoid the area around East Tahquitz Canyon Way and South El Cielo Drive until around 1 p.m. due to the march.

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