Anti-gun activists march on Washington

Residents from Newtown, Connecticut, were expected at the march in the wake of Sandy Hook massacre

James Legge
Saturday 26 January 2013 19:54 GMT
Thousands of people participate in the March on Washington for Gun Control
Thousands of people participate in the March on Washington for Gun Control (Getty Images)

Thousands marched through Washington, D.C. today in a rally for stricter gun controls in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre.

Walking from Capitol Hill to the Washington Monument, demonstrators waved placards with pictures of shooting victims and slogans like, "Protect children, not guns."

Police blocked off half of the road for the crowd, which was led by Washington Mayor Vincent Gray.

About 100 residents were expected from Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School last month. The rally was organized in response to that shooting.

Speakers at the Washington Monument called for a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the crowd he and President Barack Obama would do everything they could to enact gun control policies.

He said: "We must act, we must act, we must act".

Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington, D.C.'s non-voting representative in Congress, said the gun lobby can be stopped, while the crowd chanted, "Yes, we can."

She said: "We are all culpable if we do nothing now."

Actress Kathleen Turner was also expected to appear, along with Marian Wright Edelman of the Children's Defense Fund and Colin Goddard, a survivor from the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre that left 32 dead, the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.

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