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Students at 3 Minneapolis schools will walk out today in gun violence protest

It's the first of a series of walkout protests planned in response to the Florida shooting.
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Students at three Minneapolis schools are planning to walk out of class and march on City Hall as they call for gun safety measures in the wake of the Florida massacre.

Organizers posted on Facebook that there will be demonstrations at three south Minneapolis high schools that will get underway around lunchtime.

Those involved are Washburn High School in Tangletown, Roosevelt High in Standish, and South High in Corcoran.

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Students from Washburn will walk out at noon and gather at MLK Park to rally, where they'll be joined by Roosevelt High students who are taking the bus to the park.

They will then march on Minneapolis City Hall, where they will be met by students from South High School, who are taking the light rail into downtown Minneapolis after walking out at 1 p.m.

"In conjunction with students nationwide, we are demanding that our voices be heard," organizer Rebecca Gagnon said on Facebook. "It is unacceptable that we continue to feel unsafe in schools as a result of gun violence. It is unacceptable that our representatives continue to put the interests of the NRA over our safety.

"We demand that our lawmakers pass regulations to make it more difficult for assault rifles to fall into the hands of those proven to have violent intent."

More protests will follow

High school students have been leading the way in calling for stricter gun control measures in the wake of the shooting last Wednesday, with the survivors in Florida playing a prominent role in pushing for lawmakers to take action.

Their example is being followed by students across the country, and is prompting two nationwide walkouts to be planned in March and April.

Minnesota schools are expected to be involved in both.

On March 14, a youth section of the Women's March movement called EMPOWER will stage a 17-minute walkout to honor the 17 killed in Florida.

Minnesota high schools taking include those in Apple Valley, Chaska, East Ridge, Minnetonka, St. Paul Central, Osseo, Winona, St. Peter and Northfield.

This will be followed by another demonstration on Apr. 20, the anniversary of the Columbine school shootings.

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