Hundreds take to the streets in march against violence

Hundreds take to the streets in march against violence

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the violence in Chicago that has claimed the lives of more than 800 young people the last six years.

This is the second year of what's being called the CrossWalk March organized by the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago to keep the issue of violence and how it's impacting families in the forefront of people's minds.

The marchers stretched for several blocks as they wound their way from St. James Episcopal Church down Clark Street and on to Daley Plaza. They wore signs with the number 806, signifying the number of children and young people they say have been murdered in Chicago during the past six years.

Some walked in silence, others sang songs of hope. They shared a common goal.

"As people of faith we will not stand idly by while the evil of violence takes more lives and turns our neighborhoods into places of fear," says Episcopal Archdiocese Bishop Jeff Lee.

Earlier the crowd rallied on the plaza of St. James Commons and heard from parents like Steve Pike, whose 24-year-old-son Ricky was gunned down in Logan Square last year while he sat in his car.

"He could have been any of your sons, what happened to him could have happened to any of you. He was my son," Pike says, choking back tears.

This is the second year of the CrossWalk march. Those here were encouraged to travel to Springfield April 11th as part of an effort to pressure lawmakers to approve tougher guns laws and strike a blow against the violence that has put Chicago in an uncomfortable spotlight.

Among those rallying for safer streets and neighborhoods was Yvette Williams, who drew strength and hope from the rally, but like many families, still bears the pain of senseless violence.

"My brother got killed last year June 12th," Williams says. "He got shot 17 times, June 12th, on the South Side of Chicago, we don't know who killed him or nothing."

In addition to asking people to travel to Springfield to push for tougher gun laws, CrossWalk organizers also called marchers people to take part in a city-wide volunteer day May 11th, and if they can, provide summer jobs to young people.

The march ended Friday night at Stroger Hospital, where many of the gun violence victims were taken and died.

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