Parkland students say it's fitting politicians aren't in Washington for #MarchForOurLives: 'They haven't been there in the past'
Students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Emma Gonzales and Alex Wind (Photo: Screen capture)

Students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, who survived the Feb. 14 massacre that killed 17 people, are marching on Washington, D.C. Saturday in the #MarchForOurLives. During a Friday interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, Emma Gonzales and Alex Wind weren't surprised that politicians weren't going to be in Washington for the march.


President Donald Trump left on Air Force One for Mar-a-Lago for the weekend and Congress and the Senate left for the Easter recess for the last week in March and first week of April.

"It doesn't matter who is going to be here," Wind said. "What matters is our presence is known. That we'll be there. And I think it is more powerful that they won't be there. It shows if they're not going to be there, we're going to march. We're going to make our voices heard. No matter what, we're going to be there. And honestly, they haven't been there in the past. Congress has remained incumbent on this issue for years now, and we've seen it with all the past shootings. Now we're showing that it is time for a change."

Tapper asked the two about the bullying they've experienced since they began speaking out for common sense gun regulations. Gonzales specifically was called a "skinhead lesbian" by a Republican official. He later was forced to resign in disgrace.

"Look, I'm 49 and it's not easy to be attacked one way or the other," Tapper noted. "How is that for an 18-year-old?"

She smiled and noted she is bald and doesn't consider the world "lesbian" to be a pejorative.

"We're kids. We live in high school. That's bullying central. We know how to deal with that stuff," she said. ""It doesn't really matter to me whether or not you call me a name because like, as I mentioned before, being called a lesbian is not a bad thing. But also, that person doesn't know me. And that person got their comeuppance."

She went on to say that she doesn't want to allege Karma will strike, "but be kind. It's as simple as that."

"I think it shows how much our generation has changed from past generations," Wind noted. "Mostly it is adults showing hate to us. The kids and teenagers are supporting us. It shows that there's such a generation divide. But obviously there's support from the older generations and some hate from the younger generations but it is mainly adults that are attacking us."

Watch the full conversation below: