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Mercury Staff

An estimated 10,000 people swarmed downtown Portland this morning to protest lawmakers' general inaction to the steady drumbeat of mass shootings across the nation—most recently the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead.

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March for Our Lives was unlike the wave of protests and marches we've seen since President Donald Trump took office in that it was entirely inspired, organized, and led by the country's largest non-voting population: Kids. While inspired by the main Parkland student-led protest taking place in Washington, D.C., Portland's sister march gave local teenagers a platform to share their own personal anger, fears, and demands inspired by the steady stream of shootings that have defined their childhood.

We only spotted one pair of pro-gun activists informing the crowd that that assault rifles made them feel safe. The two men, clearly on the prowl for confrontation, were quickly blocked off from the march by a line of protesters. The march wrapped up by 2 p.m., after a performance by Black Thought and Portugal. the Man.

We spoke with a number of the kids, families, teachers, and other protesters that marched from the North Park Blocks to Pioneer Courthouse Square, waving homemade signs and shouting anti-gun chants (example: "Glitter not guns!").

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