Students in Brooklyn protest gun violence on eve of March for Our Lives

BROOKLYN, New York City (WABC) -- Students walked out of the classroom and took to the streets of Brooklyn Friday to demand an end to gun violence.

The rally comes just over a year since the death of a 15-year-old student in East Flatbush and one day before students come together in Washington D.C. to "March for Our Lives" in protest of gun violence across the country, which was inspired by the deadly shootings in Parkland, Florida.

Several hundred students marched alongside teachers and community leaders to the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall. It was personal for them after one of their own, Rohan Levy, was shot in the head last year.

The protesters said they are done with the violence, whether it's school shootings, police shootings or gang violence. They say "no more," and they said it using poetry, music and dance. The message was that society has to change, and the focus has to as well.

"I'm asking that instead of increased police presence, that we invest in schools," Ascend Schools director Marsha Gadsden said. "That we invest in school personnel. That we provide after-school programs for our children and opportunities for enrichment for our young people."

Organizers are calling for tougher gun laws and will hold simultaneous rallies in New York City and in Rockland County Saturday.

Officials say they're expecting about 500 people to take part in the Rockland rally.

Exactly how many protesters will actually gather Saturday has become a local guessing game. Organizers predicted up to 500,000 demonstrators in their National Park Service permit - which would approximately match the women's march and place it among the largest protests in Washington since the Vietnam era.

Eyewitness News Anchor Rob Nelson will be in Washington covering the march.

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Rob Nelson previews the "March for Our Lives" protest on gun violence from Washington D.C.

A total of more than 800 communities in the U.S. and around the world will take part in the 'March for our Lives' on Saturday, but the heart of the event will be in the Nation's Capital, where more than a half a million people are expected to gather all in the name of ending gun violence.

On Friday morning, many of the Parkland survivors arrived at the Capitol, where gun control efforts have fizzled for years, even as the list of mass shootings grows longer.

A vigil and a concert is planned for Friday night - survivors from other mass shootings such as Orlando, Vegas and Virginia tech are also expected to be there.

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