March for Our Lives holds second ‘die-in’ at Capitol on Pulse shooting anniversary

Lesa Antone, a member of Patriot Movement AZ, livestreams March for Our Lives students on Facebook during their “die-in” protest at the Arizona Capitol on Tuesday. (Photo by Nick Serpa/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX – About 30 Arizona students held a “die-in” at the state Capitol Tuesday to honor the victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that killed 49 people two years ago. They also want to pressure elected officials into enacting tighter gun-safety laws.

The student-led March for Our Lives group organized the event. The students met on the Capitol lawn at about 1 p.m. before walking into the Capitol’s Executive Tower and lying on the floor, shoulder-to-shoulder.

This protest marked the second time March for Our Lives held a die-in at the Capitol. Their first protest in April attracted hundreds of students from across the Valley.

The Pulse shooting is one of the deadliest in U.S. history – dozens of people were injured in addition to the 49 fatalities, according to Orlando city officials.

Nathan Simmons, a student and member of March for Our Lives, addresses his peers during a die-in protest at the Capitol while Lesa Antone, a member of Patriot Movement AZ, livestreams him on Facebook. (Photo by Nick Serpa/Cronkite News)

Dawn Motley, a student and member of March for Our Lives, said that in addition to honoring the victims of the Pulse shooting, the group wants Gov. Doug Ducey to call a special session to enact gun-safety legislation.

“(Gun violence) just not something that all of us want to grow up with,” Motley said.

Counterprotesters from Patriot Movement AZ also attended the event, where they livestreamed the students protesting on Facebook. Jennifer Harrison, a member of Patriot Movement AZ, said she disagrees with the students’ actions and the position of March for Our Lives.

“These children are on a mission to enact more gun laws here in Arizona based on emotions and willingness to trade their freedom for a false sense of security,” Harrison said. “The problem, first and foremost, is the bullying.”

Motley said March for Our Lives’ next steps involves “getting to the polls,” and the group will announce more details on Thursday.

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