Last weekend, Cincinnati saw it's younger generations take the lead in creating change. The March For Our Lives, which took place in Washington, D.C., and in nearly every major city across the country, also took over Downtown streets on the morning of Saturday, March 24.
In spite of an early spring snowstorm, over one thousand people congregated at Cincinnati City Hall on Plum Street at 11:00 AM. Local MFOL organizers pumped up the crowd and explained the March's intent: to tell the local, state, and federal government that inaction on gun control is unacceptable. After the march, students of local schools spoke alongside notable public figures like Hamilton County Clerk of Courts and representative candidate Aftab Pureval and Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, all of whom called for changes in gun legislation that promotes the safety of students and the public as a whole.
Through email, we were able to ask local organizer, leader, and Wyoming High School junior Rasleen Krupp about the march:
INHAILER: First off, how do you think the march went here in Cincinnati? What were the highlights for you?
Krupp: I think that the march was absolutely wonderful. I was so proud of what my fellow students and I accomplished. One of the most impactful parts, in my opinion, was Ethel Guttenberg's speech [before the march]. She is the grandmother of one of the victims of the Parkland shooting. Honestly, pretty much the entire march was a highlight for me. I know that isn't the best answer, but I was so fortunate to speak and lead chants to such an incredible crowd.
INHAILER: What was the planning process like? How long did it take, and what were some of the big things you and the leadership team had to do to make today happen?
Krupp: The planning process was a lot of work! Luckily, I had a ton of wonderful people on my side. We had to get permits, schedule speakers, get voter registration forms, get marshals, ensure that we had a quality sound system, etc. There are so many little details in planning a march like this that I would never even think of! In the end, all of the hard work definitely paid off. I think that we successfully followed the message and vision of the Parkland students, which was the ultimate goal.
INHAILER: How did the march here fit into the larger efforts for gun control nationally?
Krupp: Voter registration was a big part of this event. We had a ton of awesome volunteers running around and registering people. This is important because the power to vote is how we will ensure that we get common sense gun legislation. We can vote out politicians who are against our movement. I think that the youth vote is especially important because it is a huge group of voters who can really sway the elections. And for those who showed up who can't vote yet, I think that they still tied into the movement by just being there. Hopefully, the presence of so many people advocating for gun control will show politicians that something needs to be done!
INHAILER: What results do you want to see from today's march, both locally and nationally, and both short- and long-term?
Krupp: Long term, I want to see comprehensive gun legislation. However, I recognize that that will take a long time, so short term, I would like to see this energy for change continue. I hope that people don't lose interest in this topic after the march. We will do our best to keep people engaged (we already are planning for events on April 12th and 20th!), but it's really up to the people themselves to keep fighting for gun control.
You'll be able to hear Rasleen Krupp on Episode 5 of Interchange513 on April 18th. In the meantime, stay tuned for more news about upcoming events supporting the March For Our Lives movement.