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March to stop violence held in Chicago

Friday, April 30, 2010

The mission to stop the violence focused on Chicago's hot spots Friday night.

A multi-community march was held in nine of the city's most violent neighborhoods as well as three other communities. The march for peace was personal for some participants.

It was a risk but Ceasefire marchers headed to the far South Side street where police say a high-ranking gang member was shot and killed Thursday night.

"We have to justify why we're over there. We're trying to save your life. Your brother is dead, God Bless him. I feel for everybody. But the thing is somebody else is going to end up dead or someone is going to end up in the penitentiary. Is it worth it?" said Tio Hardiman, CeaseFire Illinois.

The violence is not worth it but residents in Roseland and Calumet Park say solidarity is.

"I think it's a good effort and it needs to be displayed because we have to stand together to stop the violence," said Eric Scott, resident.

The main goal is to bring peace to these troubled neighborhoods. And organizers are hoping it's not just adults but also children who will be able to reach out.

"I think it gives me the responsibility to influence more people to do the right thing," said Anthony Rawls Jr., Roseland resident.

Because children like 17-year-old Patrice Brown are often the murder victims too. It's been three years since Brown was killed in Roseland. Her mother advocates breaking the code of silence.

"You can save another life by speaking up," said Patricia Brown, murder victim's mother.

Along with Roseland, Ceasefire workers targeted eight other neighborhoods, including North Lawndale where children want to have hope.

"We are trying as kids, even though we can't do much, to be the best we can be so we can get out of school, go to the store, and have peace around us," said one child.

It's a peace Chicago police are trying to broker in Roseland and elsewhere.

"I'm confident we'll be able to keep a handle on things over the summer and it will require interaction with the community and that's why we're out here tonight to try and show we're part of the community too," said Superintendent Jody Weis.

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