Hollywood celebrities today opened their pockets to support a massive protest being held in America’s capital to demand stricter gun controls in the wake of last week’s Florida school massacre.
The protest is being organised by student survivors of last Wednesday’s gun rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 teenagers and staff members were shot dead by 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz.
Clooney and his human rights lawyer wife, Amal, were the first to make the cash pledge in the names of their eight-month-old twins, Ella and Alexander.
The Clooneys said they intend to join the rally in Washington DC on March 24.
ET director Spielberg and his actress wife Kate Capshaw, along with Oprah Winfrey, stepped up to say they would match the Clooneys’ $500,000 donation.
George and Amal, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am joining forces with you and will match your $500,000 donation to ‘March For Our Lives.’ 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.— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) February 20, 2018
Other student walkouts and marches are being planned across the country in the coming months.
The celebrity boost came as President Donald Trump signed an order proposing a ban on bump-stock devices that enable a rifle to shoot hundreds of rounds a minute.
The gun modification was used by a gunman who killed 58 people at a Las Vegas concert last October.
Mr Trump has also hinted that he wants to impose tougher background checks on prospective gun buyers.
The survivors of last week’s school massacre have launched a national movement tackling America’s 2nd amendment right to bear arms.
Around 100 students were demonstrating in Tallahassee, Florida’s capital city, today and many of them were at the capitol building to see lawmakers reject a bill to ban all assault rifles, like the AR-15 used by Cruz.
“It was just so heartbreaking to see how many voters’ names were up there, especially after it was my school,” sobbed Sheryl Acquaroli, a 16-year-old pupil. “It seemed almost heartless how they immediately pushed the button to say no.”
“They had a chance to stop it today,” she added. “If there is another mass shooting in Florida it’s going to be their fault.”
Florida lawmakers are working on a less ambitious gun control package that would include banning the sale of assault weapons to anyone under 21.
George and Amal Clooney later released a statement backing the students.
“Our family will be there on March 24 to stand side by side with this incredible generation of young people from all over the country, and in the name of our children Ella and Alexander, we’re donating 500,000 dollars to help pay for this groundbreaking event. Our children’s lives depend on it,” they said.