Religious Leaders To March Against Youth Violence

CHICAGO (CBS) — Palm Sunday marked the beginning of Holy Week on the Christian calendar, and now, political and religious leaders are using the sacred message to combat youth violence by holding a march.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, the march starts at 5:30 p.m. at St. James Cathedral, 65 E. Huron St., and stops at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., and Old St. Pat’s Church, 700 W. Adams St., before ending at Stroger Hospital of Cook County, 1901 W. Harrison St.

The purpose is to remember Chicago’s murdered youth. According to one pastor, 57 children have lost their lives since the beginning of the school year.

On Sunday, hundreds of people marched out of Greater St. John Bible Church, at 1256 N. Waller Ave. in the North Austin neighborhood. They marched in solidarity for justice for Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen who was killed by a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain who claims self-defense.

But they also marched for peace on Chicago’s streets.

Six years ago, Willie Williams Jr. lost his teenage son and namesake, who was shot down outside a theater. It took the 17-year-old more than half a day to die at the hospital.

The victim’s dad says he’ll never forget.

“For fourteen hours, I had to watch my son. He was in a lot of pain. You know, I wish that on no one. Right now, I’m out here to fight for other parents,” he said.

Among the parents marching Sunday was Rickeeta Russell, who marched with her two young children. Three-year-old Takyla carried a sign her mom wrote that asked whether her daughter would live to see her next birthday.

She said she’s truly worried about her children’s lives, “because it’s crimes out here.”

Lawmakers and activists said the gang-fueled violence that sent nine more people to hospitals overnight can be stopped, but first they say families in crime ravaged neighborhoods have to look within.

Ald. Deborah Graham (29th) said, “It starts at home. Gang members come from houses. They don’t just appear out on the street.”

And pastors say it’s hypocritical to want justice for Trayvon Martin when so often people aren’t willing to help police in solving murders in Chicago.

“They talk about, ‘We don’t want to snitch,’” said the Rev. Ira Acree of Greater St. John Bible Church. “You’d better snitch, or the next life lost could be someone in your own household.”

At the march planned for Monday, organizers are hoping to get participants connected with organizations that help prevent violence in the city.

More than 40 organizations are planning to attend.

Meanwhile, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is in Washington, D.C., Monday, speaking at the national summit on preventing youth violence at noon.

  • arekg11

    What’s the rush? Why not wait until thousands more black on black shootings take place before you break the code of silence and start pointing fingers and taking back your city?

  • Hal

    Another march–another nothing–it will never stop until neighborhoods have leaders that want the violence stopped and the only way to do that is to turn the punks and idiots in

  • If Trayvon be here, he'd be Just Axin

    Hal- Let’s not minimize the marches. This is a good opportunity for these “church people” to drum up $, support and attention that they would not otherwise have. Stopping the violence? We’ll need a few more gov’t programs for the violence to finally end. What’s also a joke, is that you’re asking those who are marching to do something moral (turn over criminals, parenting, etc) yet these marchers have no qualms taking $ from gov’t for the many programs they take advantage of. It would force them to look at themselves (no more Link card, section 8, drug use) and that aint gonna happen.

  • Reb Biker

    “Axing” the members of this certain community to accept personal responsibility would be just as productive as “axing” a possum to fly. Ain’t gonna happen.

    • THEE Yard Ape

      Right on Reb!!!! BRAVO!!!

  • urbantranslator

    Will someone please tell Mayor Rahm to reach out to Hal Baskin and Wallace Gator Bradley, the Pastor of St. Sabina and Congressman Bobby Rush so that we can assist him in addressing this problem known as SENSELESS SHOOTING AND KILLINGS.

    Pass my number on to him 312-371-6914 and if he is serious he will call.

  • Just Axin

    Urban t- how nice that Bradley would do this for free. We might even look past his criminal record. Do you think some grant money for an afterschool program might help? How about for a jobs program? What about trying something new, like locking up these mfkers when they commit a violent crime and actually keeping them in jail?

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