CHICAGO (CBS) — A new women’s group used this date, which is traditionally commemorated as the end of slavery in the United States, to hold an anti-violence rally at the Thompson Center.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the marchers wore symbolic chains. Community activist and Illinois State Senate candidate Patricia Van Pelt Watkins emphasized the event was not one of celebration, but one of lamentation.

“A hundred and fifty years after Juneteenth – a celebration of freedom and liberation – we are yet in chains. We are in chains in our community because of the violence that will not stop,” Watkins said.

Watkins, who also ran unsuccessfully for mayor last year, is calling for the anti-gang project CeaseFire to be funded all summer. She is also seeking more help for ex-felons who are looking for jobs, and for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn to sit down with her group.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports