Updated: Apr 1, 2020
Image courtesy of the New York Times.
Note: this article was originally published as part of our "Youths of the Decade" roundup. Click here to read the article in full.
20-year-old Emma Gonzalez is one of the group of Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivors who went on to co-found Never Again MSD and organise the March for Our Lives rally, which involved millions of students advocating for gun control over hundreds of locations in the United States.
She is one of the most prominent of the Parkland surviving gun-control advocates, with a speech at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale three days after the shooting, in which she declared that “we call B.S.” on the failure of politicians to combat gun violence, going viral.
She also made one of the most poignant speeches at March for Our Lives, where she held several minutes of silence.
Gonzalez has had to face vicious attacks and conspiracy theories postulated by rightwingers, including attacks on her sexual orientation, appearance, and race, along with conspiracy theories about her being a crisis actor, which even the President’s children appeared to support. A Republican politician, Leslie Gibson, called her a “skinhead lesbian”, while fake videos spread by Republican supporters online showed her ripping up the US constitution.
On the day of the shooting, she was trapped in an auditorium for hours after attempting to escape. Today, Gonzalez is studying at the New College of Florida.