Denver’s March for Our Lives starts soon, as people begin to converge on Civic Center

People began converging Saturday morning on Denver’s Civic Center Park ahead of this afternoon’s march to protest gun violence, one among hundreds happening across America and around the world following last month’s Florida high school shooting that claimed 17 lives.

In the late morning, the 16th Street Mall was dotted with people wearing or carrying march-related gear and at Civic Center, audio equipment and guard railings were being installed in anticipation of a thousands-strong gathering.

Bruce Nelson carried a “March for Our Lives” sign as he walked along 16th Street just a few block from Civic Center. The Denver man said he wanted to be part of the event to help stop the “madness” of gun violence in America.

“Guns always seem to wind up in the hands of lunatics,” Nelson said, “and it’s got to stop.”

He said he supports the Second Amendment and doesn’t want take away the rights of most Americans to own a gun. “I don’t want to stop hunters from hunting. I like a good piece of venison.”

“But God bless these kids, for standing up and trying to do something about this craziness.”

Like many of the roughly 800 sister marches to the March for Our Lives, in Washington, D.C., Denver’s event, officially called Never Again Colorado, has been organized largely by teens and young adults.

Watch live coverage from Democracy Now below.

Among those who helped organize Denver’s march are 19-year-old Tay Anderson, a Manual High School graduate and former Denver school board candidate who created the Never Again Colorado Facebook page shortly after the Parkland, Fla., shooting; 21-year-old Shannon Hayes, who survived the 2013 Arapahoe High School shooting; and 18-year-old Andreas Perea, who is following his late grandfather’s lead in helping others. After the march, the group intends to turn its focus to the state legislature.

The rally at Civic Center Park should start at 2 p.m. and run for 40 minutes to an hour, after which comes a march north into downtown and returning to the park.

There are 11 scheduled speakers whose lives were touched by shootings near and far, including from the 2014 Isla Vista killings in California; the Florida tragedies in Parkland and at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in 2016; and in Colorado, the Columbine High School and Aurora movie theater massacres.

Staff writer Monte Whaley contributed.

This story will update.

Elizabeth Hernandez@ehernandez

4-year-old Sariah LaRue holds sign "I’m little and I’m mad" along with her family as they head down to Civic Center to protest gun violence in schools. Sariah’s mom Kelly said they’re raising their kids to have a voice. #marchforourlives #denver

monte Whaley@monteWhaleyMerchandise for march and rally going fastElizabeth Hernandez@ehernandezBy 2 pm, tens of thousands are expected to fill Civic Center Park for #Denver #MarchForOurLives gun violence protest. Sun is up, sky is blue. Check back for updates!March For Our Lives@AMarch4OurLivesToday, we #MarchForOurLives . This day in history belongs to us. See you out there! marchforourlives.comKeep #Denver weird. 👋🏼 #igersdenver #pastel #pastelrow #denverstreetart #denvercolorado #denverpost #downtowndenver #milehighcityElizabeth Hernandez@ehernandezDuring Q&A session, protestors with tape over their mouths stand in front of panel. The Q&A has been cancelled, officials said they could go up to individual panel members to answer questions afterward.Elizabeth Hernandez@ehernandezThe Mayor is here along w/ panel of community stakeholders. Occasional chants calling for Mayor’s resignation can be heard drifting through the door.Elizabeth Hernandez@ehernandezProtestors with signs not being allowed inside the Hancock Cabinet in the Community event.Elizabeth Hernandez@ehernandezProtestors gathered outside Mayor Hancock’s community event this morning in #Denver . They’re calling for his resignation, independent investigation into his text message scandal.Thomas Ryan Murphy@TR_MurfUpdate: I’m employing a multimedia engagement strategy.

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