Bay Area students prepare for local March For Our Lives rallies

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Saturday, March 24, 2018
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The Bay Area will see major rallies in several cities, including San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The Bay Area will see major rallies in several cities, including San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco.

Guadalupe River Park, a block from SAP Center, is where from 10 to 30 thousand people are expected to turn out for San Jose's march.

RELATED: Faces, names to know ahead of March for Our Lives

The student-run March for Our Lives has been raising money to rent a stage, a sound system, and barricades by selling t-shirts and accepting online donations. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren will be one of a dozen speakers.

"We want each speaker to come and give us their take on the gun violence issue and make this event a platform for those who different ideas about how to go about it because we know this issue is divisive," said Hiwad Haider, a student at San Jose's Prospect High School and one of the organizers.

With only a few hours to go, 21-year-old San Francisco State computer science student Ibraheem Chaudry continues to work on his speech for the march and rally in San Francisco. His goal is to capitalize on the momentum to change gun laws.

"This comes once in a lifetime, and it's of the essence to capitalize it at this moment and make sure everyone sees this through," said Chaudry at his family home in Foster City.

LIST: Bay Area March for Our Lives events

While much of the national spotlight will be on Washington, where students and supporters are already arriving, the San Francisco march is expected to draw 100,000. Potential speakers from the Bay Area competed for a spot at the podium by doing video auditions.

"A number of students from all across the Bay Area submitted videos, and that's how we were able to choose," said San Francisco lead organizer Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider. "We'll be hearing from age range 12 all the way up to 21 years of age."

In San Jose and in San Francisco, organizers have trained volunteers to handle security. They're being called global ambassadors. There will be others who will handle medical issues. Almost $40,000 has been raised to cover expenses in San Jose.

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