They were called to action by a brand-new corps of leaders: student survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead Feb. 14.
"If you listen real close, you can hear the people in power shaking," Parkland survivor David Hogg said to roars from the protesters packing Pennsylvania Avenue from the stage near the Capitol many blocks back toward the White House. "We're going to take this to every election, to every state and every city. We're going to make sure the best people get in our elections to run, not as politicians but as Americans.
"Because this," he said, pointing behind him to the Capitol dome, "this is not cutting it."
187,000 students have been exposed to gun violence at school since Columbine. Many are never the same.
The National Rifle Association went silent on Twitter as the protests unfolded, in contrast to its reaction to the nationwide school walkouts against gun violence March 14, when it tweeted a photo of an assault rifle and the message "I'll control my own guns, thank you."
President Donald Trump was in Florida for the weekend and did not weigh in on Twitter either.
"If 'a picture is worth a thousand words,' how many words is this worth?????" Michael Avenatti tweeted.
While not explicitly stated, Avenatti appeared to suggest that the disc may contain photographic or video evidence of Daniels's alleged affair with the president. Avenatti has previously declined comment on whether such evidence exists.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is currently suing to void a nondisclosure agreement that she says blocks her from speaking publicly about the alleged affair with Trump more than a decade ago.
She was paid $130,000 by Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, in 2016, just weeks before the presidential election. That payment, she has said, was intended to buy her silence in the alleged affair.
Trump's motorcade in Florida yesterday