George Clooney praises Parkland survivors in open letter ahead of March for Our Lives

George Clooney praises Parkland survivors in open letter ahead of March for Our Lives
Posted at 11:35 AM, Mar 23, 2018

George Clooney wrote an open letter to the survivors of the Parkland school shooting, praising them for making him "proud of his country again."

The letter was published on Friday in The Guardian's website, where student journalists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are guest editing the newspaper's online coverage of the March for Our Lives event on Saturday.

In an editor's note published with the letter, Emma Dowd, Lauren Newman and Rebecca Schneid, co-editors-in-chief of the school paper Eagle Eye, said they reached out to a number of politicians and celebrities for interviews, including George Clooney and his wife Amal, who donated $500,000 to support the march.

"They turned us down on the interview, but we loved the letter George sent us back," the three students wrote.

In the letter, Clooney thanked them for what they are doing to promote safer gun laws, saying, "Amal and I stand behind you, in support of you, in gratitude to you."

"Amal and I are 100% behind you and will be marching in DC on the 24th, but we both feel very strongly that this is your march. Your moment," Clooney wrote. "Young people are taking it to the adults and that has been your most effective tool. The fact that no adults will speak on the stage in DC is a powerful message to the world that if we can't do something about gun violence then you will. The issue is going to be this, anyone you ask would feel proud to be interviewed by you but it's so much more effective if it's young people."

Related: What you should know about the March for Our Lives

The Guardian on Friday said they invited the students to serve as guest editors for the next 48 hours and the students appear to be taking full advantage of the opportunity to make themselves heard on gun control issues.

"We hope to use the Guardian's platform to heighten awareness of the issue of gun control and school safety to such an extent that the federal government can no longer ignore us," they said in their editor's note.

March for Our Lives is an event created and organized by #NeverAgain, a group of students who survived the February 14 shooting that claimed 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group, is helping the students plan and coordinate the event.

The main march will be held in Washington, D.C., with more than 800 related events taking place around the world.

Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg are among the other celebrities who have donated $500,000 each in support of the march.

Event organizers have also raised more than $3 million through a GoFundMe campaign that was launched a few days after the shooting.