(CNN)She strode on stage at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington over the weekend, and listed the names of the 17 students and staff gunned down at her high school in Parkland, Florida. And then she went silent.

Minutes ticked by. One. Two. Three. Four, Five,  It was a visceral moment -- one that an analyst called “ he loudest silence in the history of US social protest.” It was the 18-year-old’s way of showing the world how it felt to crouch in a school room for 6 minutes and 20 seconds while a murderer carried out his shooting spree.

Here's what you need to know about high school senior Emma Gonzalez:
She's "18, Cuban and bisexual:" That's how Gonzalez began a powerful essay she wrote for Harper's Bazaar. She went on to say:  "I'm so indecisive that I can't pick a favorite color, and I'm allergic to 12 things. I draw, paint, crochet, sew, embroider—anything productive I can do with my hands while watching Netflix.

"But none of this matters anymore."  She hid in the auditorium while Nikolas Cruz was firing on her classmates: Gonzalez says that as she waited in the dark room at Marjory Stoneman Douglas on February 14, she searched Google News for updates. 

When it was clear what was unfolding, she comforted some of the students around her before first responders opened the doors and told them to run.

Her father fled Cuba and is a lawyer: Gonzalez was born in the US. Her dad sought refuge from Fidel Castro’s regime by moving to New York in 1968.  Her mother is a math tutor and worries about her: I

She had to make a Powerpoint to convince her parents to let her shave her head: Shaving her head wasn't political; it was practical. "I decided to cut my hair because it was a pain in the neck, if you'll forgive the pun," she told her school's Humans of New York-style Instagram account. "It was really hot all the time; it was very cumbersome and very heavy, leading to a lot of headaches."

She became a household name when she called out lawmakers' "BS": Just four days after the shooting, the 5'2 Gonzalez stood on boxes to reach the microphones and delivered a fiery speech at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida:

”I had no idea that my speech was going to be broadcast nationally," she said speaking into her cell phone's camera. "My mom killed her battery trying to film it 'cause she didn't think it was going to be anywhere," she added."My name is a household name now."

And then she tussled with the NRA:  At a CNN Town Hall about the future of gun control, she pointedly told NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, who wouldn’t directly answer her question: “  I want you to know we will support your two children in a way that you will not.”

She has more Twitter followers than the NRA:  She created the @Emma4Change account four days after the shooting to amplify calls for stricter gun control. She has built a legion of more than 1 million followers. The NRA, which joined Twitter in 2009, has 636,000 followers of its main account.

She’s been on the cover of Time: The April 2 issue of the magazine features Marjory Stoneman Douglas students who are leading the national conversation about gun control. Along with Gonzalez, it also features David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Alex Wind and Jaclyn Corin with the word “ENOUGH,” written in bold letters and imposed across the image.

She’s still planning on college after graduation: Just four days before the shooting, Gonzalez went on a tour of New College of Florida in Sarasota. That's still her plan, People magazine reported.

Mr.   LESLIE GIBSON - (AKA Les Littledick)

 “ There is nothing about this skinhead lesbian that impresses me and there is nothing that she has to say unless you’re a frothing at the mouth moonbat.

The candidate, Leslie Gibson, had been running to represent District 57 in central Maine unopposed, according to The Sun Journal, which first reported the comments he made on Twitter. Mr. Gibson called one Florida student, Emma González, a “skinhead lesbian,” and another, David Hogg, a “moron” and a “baldfaced liar

Gibson (R)  was running for Maine’s House of Representatives and quit the race after Republicans and Democrats called on him to end his campaign. 

He said he made the decision after conversations with family and friends and we suspect some folks who might of just wanted to cut his balls off and feed them to the dogs.

He might eventually acknowledge he is considered to be the biggest scumbag in Maine right now whether he did run or not.  Other words like prick, douchbag, and shit head I can’t print here, but they were used.

Fortunately he dropped out, most wished he dropped dead.

David Hogg said his mother had seen a story about what Mr. Gibson had called Ms. González and he had quickly sent the tweet asking someone to challenge Mr. Gibson.

Student David Hogg, center, walks toward Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February.  He was called a “liar” by a candidate for state office in Maine. 

“If you’re the type of person who calls children who are a witness to murder a skinhead lesbian and baldfaced liar, that kind of speaks for itself,” he said on Saturday. “It’s disgusting, but honestly, I’m a super petty person, and we all cheered when he said that he dropped out.”

“We need good people in office — people who are actually human and have an ounce of empathy,” he continued. “It’s hilarious because its ridiculous. They’re only proving our point that there are so many bad politicians out there. We almost let somebody that would say something like that win and run unopposed.

Hundreds of thousands, many of them teenagers, took to the streets of the US capital on Saturday to demand politicians take action on gun control and put a stop to the school shootings that have become a tragically regular occurrence.

Organizers,  said they expected the March For Our Lives rally to attract some half a million protesters, angered by the lack of progress on curtailing a long history of gun violence in the US that has claimed dozens of young people’s lives, most recently at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in Florida last month.

By noon, crowds thronged Pennsylvania Avenue under the shadow of the US Capitol Building in the early spring sunshine. Demonstrators were so densely packed that the march had become more of a standing protest.  

'I don't want to be next'

“We just don't want anyone else to lose their lives over something that should have been solved 19 years ago after Columbine," said Kathryn, a 15-year-old high school student from Virginia, referring to the 1999 Columbine High School massacre that claimed 13 lives. 

Since then, active shooter drills, armed guards and metal detectors have become an increasingly common part of daily life for many of America's school pupils and young marchers said they had had enough of living in fear.

"It's horrible not to feel safe in your own school. We should be worried about exams, not about getting shot,” said Kathryn. "I don't want to be next," added her school friend, Mia, aged 14.

Sister protests were also held in hundreds of cities across the country and across the world, as far away as London, Paris and Tokyo.

Washington DC is no stranger to protests, including the vast Women's March just over a year earlier.  But the youthful faces of the demonstrators made Saturday's march unlike any the city has seen before. Many were high school students and younger who had come by bus, car and plane to make their voices heard.

They included Eli, 14, and Ana Sofia, 15, who had taken a 14-hour bus trip from Tampa, Florida, with close to 30 other students from their high school, to join the protest in the capital. "The government right now is not representing the entirety of the population. Young people like us can't vote obviously, but it's important that we came here to represent ourselves," said Eli.

The principal feeling among the demonstrators appeared to be one of frustration: that despite tragedies like the one at Parkland and others before it, very little seems to have been done by those in power.

"Other countries have had mass shootings in the past and their governments took action so that they didn't happen again. That doesn't happen here," said Ana Sofia. "It feels like every week there's another mass shooting."

‘I didn't become a teacher to shoot children'  Students were joined at the march by older protesters including parents, grandparents and teachers.

Among the latter, fear for the safety of their students was coupled by outrage at one of President Donald Trump’s proposals for reducing gun violence at schools: arming teachers.

“It's the most ludicrous idea I've ever heard," said Seth Furlow, a 39-year-old high school science teacher from Detroit, one of the many teachers to turn out for the march.  “I became a teacher to protect children, not to shoot them," he said as he marched with his wife, Heather, a kindergarten teacher, and their two young daughters.  "It's the worst idea in the world," Cathy, a 70-year-old first grade teacher from Maine said as she held a sign reading: "Would you trust this teacher with a gun?"

At the front of the march, the crowd cheered as survivors of the Parkland shooting, where 17 people lost their lives, implored politicians to take note.

“If you listen real close, you can hear the people in power shaking," said Parkland high school student David Hogg.  "We're going to make sure the best people get in our elections to run not as politicians, but as Americans. Because this - this - is not cutting it," he said, pointing at the Capitol. "We can and we will change the world!"

But with Trump voicing his support for pro-gun lobby group the NRA, who backed his 2016 election campaign, other demonstrators were less hopeful of any major changes coming soon. Instead, some said, they would settle for some relatively modest steps towards greater control.

“We need to ban assault rifles, we need to get rid of NRA influence," said 17-year-old Justin, a high schooler from Jacksonville, North Carolina.                                                                                                            "But I think things are so bad right now we just need to take baby steps. Banning bump stocks is a good start," he said, referring to an accessory that effectively allows semi-automatic guns to fire like automatic weapons, the banning of which Trump has supported.

Nevertheless, in a sign of the division that even limited controls on guns provokes among the US population, a small counter-demonstration was held by gun rights advocates outside the FBI headquarters in Washington Saturday. “ top violating civil rights," one demonstrator's sign read.