In this powerful new article, BuzzFeed News’ Remy Smidt reports from inside the grassroots activist group that’s been formed by teens who survived the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead and 14 wounded. The students have emerged as vocal activists on both social media and traditional media platforms (a CNN excerpt of senior Emma González’s impassioned speech has been shared thousands of times on Twitter). And they’ve inspired a wave of other young activists too; high school students in Maine recently staged a gun control protest in place of a routine lock-down drill.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas students have done an incredible amount of organizing over the past week, including planning the nationwide March for Our Lives demonstration on March 24. And Smidt reports on what it’s like to watch the young activists at work:
In just days, the group of teenage survivors have made themselves impossible to ignore, headlining rallies, penning op-eds, and blanketing cable news coverage over the Presidents Day weekend with their calls for action.
But behind the scenes, they’re also just kids—sitting in a circle on the floor in the home of one of their parents, eating a batch of baked pasta, tweeting at each other, and comparing which celebrity just shared their post. There’s laughter and tears, and “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers plays briefly, but it’s also remarkably businesslike. There’s work to do and a seemingly endless number of phone calls to answer.
“We slept enough to keep us going, but we’ve been nonstop all day, all night,” said Sofie Whitney, 18, a senior who estimated that she has spent 70% of the past 48 hours speaking with reporters. “This isn’t easy for us, but it’s something I need to do.”
You can read the full article on BuzzFeed News.