Artwork at the March for Our Lives Barbecue in Oakland, July 22, 2018. Sara Hossaini/KQED
Artwork at the March for Our Lives Barbecue in Oakland, July 22, 2018. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)

'March for Our Lives' Comes to Oakland

'March for Our Lives' Comes to Oakland

Student survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting were in West Oakland Sunday as part of an anti-gun violence bus tour.

The point of the tour is to register voters and put a spotlight on communities plagued by a range of gun violence, which is how they ended up in West Oakland and hosting a barbecue.

Zoe Oreopoulos asked to volunteer serving up ribs at the March for Our Lives event in Oakland while visiting from Germany.
Zoe Oreopoulos asked to volunteer serving up ribs at the "March for Our Lives" event in Oakland while visiting from Germany. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)

Former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Matt Deitsch was at the barbecue on Sunday.

"I just registered two people to vote, and I'm about to eat some good food, and so I'm feeling super American right now," Deitsch said.

He's one of a half dozen Parkland youth who've crossed the nation on a bus to mobilize their peers around gun reform. Along the way, they're picking up other young leaders, like Bria Smith of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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"When I was growing up, I'd hear gun shots and I'd be accustomed to it. Me and my friends would make jokes about what kind of gun it was, and that shouldn't be a reality for any children, whether you go to a white suburban high school or a high school that's in the inner city," Smith said.

(L-R) Bria Smith of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (17) and fellow March for Our Lives tour participant Ariel Hobbs of Houston, Texas (20) greet their Oakland hosts, Kenzie Smith and Onsayo Abram, of "barbecuing while black" notoriety.
(L-R) Bria Smith of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (17) and fellow "March for Our Lives" tour participant Ariel Hobbs of Houston, Texas (20) greet their Oakland hosts, Kenzie Smith and Onsayo Abram, of "barbecuing while black" notoriety. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)

"March for Our Lives" is also visiting cities where youth turnout could swing a district toward pro-gun control candidates.

Members of Urban Peace Movement, L-R Erik Wright, Roy Terry, Ronnie Coleman and Jamel Patterson rap "3am in Oakland" at the March for Our Lives barbecue. Wright says, "I hope we do all the things we're talking about at the barbecue, vote, and positivity."
Members of Urban Peace Movement, L-R Erik Wright, Roy Terry, Ronnie Coleman and Jamel Patterson rap "3am in Oakland" at the "March for Our Lives" barbecue. Wright says, "I hope we do all the things we're talking about at the barbecue, vote and positivity." (Sara Hossaini/KQED)
Carmen Le (17) and Anu Srinkanth (17) of San Jose await "to celebrate" the arrival of the March for Our Lives tour bus in West Oakland.
Carmen Le (17) and Anu Srinkanth (17) of San Jose await "to celebrate" the arrival of the March for Our Lives tour bus in West Oakland. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)
The March for Our Lives tour bus arrives with 15 youth survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting and gun violence elsewhere in the nation. The teens and young adults say they're energized from their previous stop in Irvine, CA--a church event that organizers say drew 2,000 people.
The March for Our Lives tour bus arrived with 15 youth survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting and gun violence elsewhere in the nation. The teens and young adults say they're energized from their previous stop in Irvine, a church event that organizers say drew 2,000 people. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)

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