|HOUSTON, March 27, 2018 -- Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in downtown Houston in U.S. southern state of Texas on Saturday for the "March for Our Lives" gun control rally, demanding the end of gun violence and mass school shootings.
Carrying signs proclaiming "Enough is enough," "Gun reform now," "Fear has no place in our schools!" and "You can't pray guns away," thousands of students marched in downtown Houston as part of a nationwide "March for Our Lives" student protest of gun violence in America's schools.
The march was organized and attended by students from more than 60 area high schools, colleges, middle schools and private schools.
Meanwhile, four related marches or stationary gatherings were held in the Houston area Saturday. In all, between 10,000 and 20,000 Houston-area students were believed to participate in the rally.
Organizer Paige Cromley, a 10th grader at Woodlands' John Cooper School, said parents and teachers also helped students to organize, fund and stage the event, including securing proper permits.
Students say help has come both from Republicans and Democrats, and Saturday's events were non-partisan.
Frustrated by the lack of federal response to school shootings for many years, "students want action," Cromley said.
"Things aren't like this in other countries," she said. "We're tired of those in power telling us nothing can be done, when we know that it can."
Marcher Marcel McClinton of Spring Branch High School echoed that thought. "These thousands of people are tired of the idea that gun reform isn't something we can talk about," she said.
They joined students from throughout America who marched Saturday as part of a grassroots network of protests.
Such protesters were spurred by the Feb. 14 killings of 17 students and staff at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
Protesters advocate more restrictive gun laws to help reduce gun violence -- especially in schools -- despite years of political gridlock on the problem.