Some Hollywood heavyweights are donating millions of dollars to a planned national student march against gun violence

  • A planned, student-led march scheduled for next month is already gaining some deep-pocketed backers.
  • The March for Our Lives, set to take place in major US cities March 24, received $US500,000 pledges from George and Amal Clooney and Oprah Winfrey on Tuesday.
  • The march follows last week’s deadly mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were killed.

The deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead last week is poised to ignite a nationwide movement against gun violence. Students planning demonstrations in major cities next month to get the attention of lawmakers in the fight for gun reform are already earning some high-profile endorsements.

The Oscar-winning actor George Clooney and his wife, Amal, who is a human-rights lawyer, have pledged $US500,000 to the March for Our Lives demonstration. Billionaire media mogul Oprah Winfrey joined the cause, pledging to match the Clooneys’ donation on Tuesday.

“George and Amal, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am joining forces with you and will match your $US500,000 donation to ‘March For Our Lives,'” Oprah said. “These inspiring young people remind me of the Freedom Riders of the 60s who also said we’ve had ENOUGH and our voices will be heard.”

The Freedom Riders that Oprah referenced were white and African-American demonstrators who travelled on buses to cities in the segregated southern US in the 1960s, where they peacefully protested against segregated buses and restaurants. Many were arrested and brutalized in the process.

MSNBC host Joy Reid likened the student-led movement against gun violence to the students of generations past, saying, “the Civil Rights Movement was in large part populated by students — from college to elementary — who marched, sat in, took firehose blasts and dog bites and were even martyred in church. Don’t underestimate them. Kids can change America again.”

Steven Spielberg and Kate Capeshaw also pledged $US500,000 and praised the students leading the charge: “The young students in Florida and now across the country are already demonstrating their leadership with a confidence and maturity that belies their ages,” the couple said in a statement.

Film studio executive Jeffrey Katzenberg has also pledged $US500,000, Variety reported.

The 19-year-old gunman who opened fire on students in Parkland, Florida, last week is facing 17 counts of murder.

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