(CBS) — Prominent South Side pastor Corey Brooks is calling on Chicagoans — and especially gangbangers — to put down their guns and stop the shooting this Labor Day weekend.
Brooks and promoters Asa Powell and Victor Woods said they talked with gang leaders for three weeks to try to assure a violence-free Labor Day.
“Our hope and our goal is to make sure that this weekend if filled with nothing but peace, celebration and love,” Brooks said during a rally in Pioneer Court, after walking with 125 people from Roosevelt Road and Michigan Avenue to Tribune Tower.
Woods said peace talks that will end the shooting on a more permanent basis must move beyond the city’s West and South sides.
“We have a right to be downtown,” he said. “This conversation needs to be downtown.”
Powell said the problem is not one other Chicagoans, or the Emanuel administration, can ignore.
“The people downtown don’t understand this affects the whole Chicago,” he said.
Standing alongside them at the rally, and participating in the march, was state Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-North Aurora. Brooks has endorsed him for U.S. Senate over incumbent Dick Durbin, a Democrat.
Over the Independence Day weekend in the city of Chicago, 17 people died and more than 80 were wounded in shootings.