March for Our Lives: South Florida updates

Today is the March for Our Lives, and over 50 sibling marches are being held in Florida. Find a local one here.

FIU journalism students will be covering various marches in South Florida, including a march in Parkland. Reporters will be live on the scene, documenting happenings at the marches. Stay tuned for regular updates.

— Gabriel Poblete, South Florida News Service

West Palm Beach- 4:30p.m.

Marchers were disappointed to hear that President Trump decided not to ride by the rally stationed near his home on Palm Beach Island.

Sherry Hostler, a mother and grandmother supporting her family at the march, was not surprised by Tump’s decision to avoid the rally.

“You know he was going to,” she said. “At this point, I expect nothing else but deflection from him.”

People have begun to March down Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach .

—Jaylin Hawkins, South Florida News Service

Protestors marching down Southern Blvd. (Photo Credit: Jaylin Hawkins)

West Palm Beach- 1:29 p.m.

Though the March for our Lives starts at 2 p.m., the crowds have amassed.

Sheri Suiter’s nieces are in high school in Connecticut, where they just had a gun scare.

“We need to put back provisions on mental health that the orange Cheeto just took out,” she said, referring to President Trump. “I want a ban on all assault riffles; there is no reason to have them.”

People are lining the streets waiting for President Donald Trump’s motorcade to pass by on his way to Mar-a-Lago.

—Jaylin Hawkins, South Florida News Service

People line up waiting for Trump's motorcade. (Photo credit: Jaylin Hawkins)

People line up waiting for Trump’s motorcade. (Photo credit: Jaylin Hawkins)

Kendall- 12:18 p.m.

Counter-protesters were in attendance at the rally at Tropical Park, some criticizing a shift toward what they viewed as socialism. Miami-Dade Police escorted some out of the rally.

Many attendees called for the removal of the dissenters.

“Get them out! Get them out!” was shouted repeatedly by many of those  supporting the March for Our Lives movement.

The counter-protestors refused to be interviewed.

—Paul Martinez, South Florida News Service

A counter protestor at Tropical Park. (Photo Credit: Paul Martinez)

A counter protestor at Tropical Park. (Photo Credit: Paul Martinez)

Miami Beach- 11:42 a.m.

Emily Estefan gave a speech in front of 17 empty chairs — representing the 17 lives lost at the MSD school shooting.

“We’re here for a short time. Why are we just going to sit here and breathe and not make our breaths worth a while?” said the daughter of famed artists Emilio and Gloria Estefan.

“Let’s all be one thing: Let’s be love, not hate or violence,” she said. “We are all the same. Let’s do this together.”

— Jessica Barrios, South Florida News Service

Emily Estefan, daughter of Gloria and Emilio Estefan, speaks in the Miami Beach rally. 17 chairs were laid out for the 17 who lost their lives in the MSD shooting. (Photo credit: Jessica Barrios)

Emily Estefan, daughter of Gloria and Emilio Estefan, speaks in the Miami Beach rally. 17 chairs were laid out for the 17 who lost their lives in the MSD shooting. (Photo credit: Jessica Barrios)

Miami Beach- 10:51 a.m.

Hannah Gelber, chairperson of the Miami Beach Youth Commission and daughter of Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, addresses the crowd.

“Today I am 17 years old,” she said. “Like you, I want the people who make the laws to listen.”

She said she will be able to vote on August 28.

“Today my voice is not heard because I cannot vote against them,” she said. “So they listen to the NRA because their members can vote. But guess what? I won’t be 17 forever.”

— Jessica Barrios, South Florida News Service

Hannah Gelber, the mayor's daughter, adresses the crowd. (Photo credit: Jessica Barrios)

Hannah Gelber, the mayor’s daughter, adresses the crowd. (Photo credit: Jessica Barrios)

Parkland- 10:50 a.m.

Students from all across South Florida have gathered in at Pine Trails Park to march for their lives.

Kerry Mock, a freshman at Dreyfoos High School, said, “There’s a lot of mixed feelings, where it feels sad that we have to get to a point where people are valuing guns over student lives.”

Vanessa Marie, a freshman at Royal Palm Beach High School, said, “I feel sadness and empowerment to make a difference. A lot of people are focusing on protecting guns instead of kids and it’s sick.”

“I’m happy that everyone is here, but I lost my best friend Meadow Pollack in the shooting,” said Owen Williams Williams, a sophomore at Coral Glades High School. “It hits home because I live across the street from Douglas and I was in class when it happened and I called my brother to pick me up because I didn’t want to stay in school.”

-Dianne Morales, South Florida News Service

Kerry Mock (left), Vanessa Marie (middle) and Owen Williams (right) (Photo credit: Dianne Morales)

Kerry Mock (left), Vanessa Marie (middle) and Owen Williams (right) (Photo credit: Dianne Morales)

Kendall — 10:44 a.m.

Stephanie Repp and Stacy Meus are two of the hundreds of attendees at today’s march at Tropical Park.

“I have four grandchildren. Every day at 8:20 a.m. my heart pounds because I’m horrified for them,” Repp said. “I march on to feel like I’m contributing, and I make my posters to release my anger. I do this for my family.”

Repp had been coming off knee replacement surgery, but still attended today’s rally.

“My family says they’re going to shoot me, and I say ‘so be it,’” she said.

Meus, a junior at Miami Killian Senior High, made an effort to stand next to her grandmother through all the protest efforts.

“I think this rally will be really effective, and the fact that we’re involved makes an impact,” Meus said. “We are shaking the system.”

— Paul Martinez, South Florida News Service

Stacy Meus (left) and Stephanie Repp (right) at the march in Tropical Park. (Photo credit: Paul Martinez)

Stacy Meus (left) and Stephanie Repp (right) at the march in Tropical Park. (Photo credit: Paul Martinez)

Doral — 10:15 a.m.

Silvia and Mario Ofoino are marching for their friend’s grandson, Kyle Laman, 15, who was shot in the leg and survived during the MSD shooting.

“We want safety for all public schools,” Silvia Ofoino said.

— Christian Perez, South Florida News Service

Silvia and Mario Ofoino march in Doral. (Photo credit: Christian Perez)

Silvia and Mario Ofoino march in Doral. (Photo credit: Christian Perez)

Miami Beach — 10:03 a.m.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is attending the march in Miami Beach.

“Not one more day shall pass when we shall remain in silence,” he said. “Today is the day we say the lives of our children are not to be violated.”

— Jessica Barrios, South Florida News Service

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho attends the march in Miami Beach (Photo credit: Jessica Barrios)

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho attends the march in Miami Beach (Photo credit: Jessica Barrios)

Pembroke Pines — 9:19 a.m.

Dora Schaefer, 74, and Dixie Lacino ,77, said they are participating in the March For Our Lives to honor their children and grandchildren.

“We’re depending on our youth and guaranteeing a change for the future,” Schaefer said.

“Back in my day, we had to go under our desks if someone were to bomb us,” Lacino added.

— Isabell Vasquez, South Florida News Service

Dora Schaefer (left) 74, and Dixie Iacino (right) 77 (Photo credit: Isabell Vasquez)

Dora Schaefer (left) 74, and Dixie Iacino (right) 77 (Photo credit: Isabell Vasquez)