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Thousands march across US to protest gun violence

Demonstrators carry a coffin over the Brooklyn bridge during a march and rally against gun violence, Saturday, June 2, 2018, in New York. (AP photo)

Thousands of people have marched in New York and other cities in the United States to demand an end to the country’s gun violence epidemic following several mass shootings in schools in recent months.

A student-led group called Youth Over Guns organized Saturday's protest in New York. The group formed after the deadly mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and staff were killed in February. 

The protesters marched across the Brooklyn Bridge and then rallied in lower Manhattan. Most wore orange to show their support for gun violence awareness.

They said they're angry more has not been done to stop school shootings and other crimes where guns were used.

Aalayah Eastmond, a survivor of the shooting at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, addressed the crowd.

The march was one of several taking place around the US to protest gun violence and urge lawmakers to pass gun restrictions.

Gun violence in the US has reached unprecedented levels as school campuses are now becoming the main target for shooters.

There have already been 23 school shootings where someone was hurt or killed. That averages out to more than 1 shooting a week.

The most recent fatal school shooting took place on May 18 in Santa Fe, Texas, after a teenager allegedly used a shotgun to kill 10 people and wound 10 others.

The United States loses around 33,000 people to gun violence every year.

Mass shootings at US schools are rising rapidly, killing more people in the last 18 years than in the entire 20th century, according to a study published in April by researchers at Clemson University.

The report in the Journal of Child and Family Studies tallied mass shootings -- events when at least one shooter intentionally killed or injured at least four others -- and death tolls at US schools for children and teens aged five to 18, going back to 1940.

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