Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to five outspoken survivors of the Parkland, Florida, high school massacre for TIME magazine’s annual list of 100 influential people, that has been released on Thursday.
Obama praised students Cameron Kasky, Jaclyn Corin, David Hogg, Emma González and Alex Wind for demanding tougher gun control legislation following the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“Seared by memories of seeing their friends murdered at a place they believed to be safe, these young leaders don’t intimidate easily,” Obama wrote. “They see the [National Rifle Association] and its allies — whether mealymouthed politicians or mendacious commentators peddling conspiracy theories — as mere shills for those who make money selling weapons of war to whoever can pay.”
“They’re as comfortable speaking truth to power as they are dismissive of platitudes and punditry,” he continued. “And they live to mobilize their peers. … The Parkland students are shaking us out of our complacency.”
— TIMEPolitics (@TIMEPolitics) April 19, 2018
The five students helped spawn the #NeverAgain movement to end gun violence and spearheaded the organization behind March For Our Lives, the massive nationwide protest calling for stricter firearm regulation held on March 24.
“Thank you @Time for this honor and an immense thank you to @BarackObama for the kind words,” Wind tweeted Thursday.