Two and a half weeks after the massacre at a Texas elementary school, numerous people demonstrated in Washington and other cities in the United States for stricter gun laws. At the central rally in the US capital Washington, thousands of people took part in the “March for Our Lives” on Saturday, as a dpa reporter reported.

The protesters held up signs that read “Thoughts and prayers are not enough,” “Protect children, not guns,” and “Enough is enough.” The organizers had called for demonstrations in several cities in the United States.

On May 24, an 18-year-old shot dead 19 children and two teachers with an assault rifle in an elementary school in the small Texas town of Uvalde. The first “March for Our Lives” came after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. There, in February 2018, a 19-year-old gunman shot 14 teenagers and three adults and injured other people.

Manuel Oliver, who lost his son in the Parkland massacre, spoke at the rally in Washington. Oliver called on students to stay away from class to increase pressure on politicians to pass tougher gun laws. “We are calling for a nationwide strike by American students at all levels of education,” he said. Oliver called on US President Joe Biden to create an Office for the Prevention of Gun Violence in the White House.

Biden pledged his support to the protesters Friday on the sidelines of a visit to Los Angeles. With a view to the congressional elections in November, the Democrat demanded that stricter gun laws should be a decisive criterion for voters.