Stop the Violence events held

Cease-Fire funds restored
October 10, 2009 6:11:22 PM PDT
All across the city Saturday, several events were held to rally against the violence that's claiming the lives of Chicago's youth and to call for its end.People expressed outrage and sadness about the killings. But the focus was also on finding constructive solutions.

Another plea for an end to the violence that claimed the life of 16-year-old Fenger High School honor roll student Derrion Albert.

"We need to work with our children and the community has to get involved so our children can be all they can be," said Glen Brooks of the CAPS program.

The vigil began what was to be a citywide weekend where neighborhoods full of concerned residents came together -- to demand peace in their streets.

"People have to have some moral conscience. when is enough enough. don't look the other way don't film it. call 911. Do something about it," said Chicago mayor Richard Daley.

Saturday afternoon at yet another anti-violence rally, once again Chicago mayor Richard Daley urged those in the Garfield Park neighborhood to end the code of silence surrounding the murder of 20 year old mother of 3 Natasha Howliet. Her family again challenged witnesses to her slaying to come forward.

"My cousin died and nobody wants to step up. we need the eyewitnesses. that boy who was there and got on the bus and left my cousin there," said Shenicka Scurghil, Howliet's cousin.

City officials have come under fire after a wave of gang and gun violence that has taken the lives of Chicago teens. Authorities say they're fighting the crime but need the community's help.

"We have a circle of violence. people have to get involved. today's offender is tomorrow's victim and tomorrow's victim becomes an offender. it just goes on and on," said Chicago Police superintendent Jody Weis.

And while Chicago police had help from area clergy to pass out flyers seeking information about nearly a dozen unsolved homicides including those of cousins Percy Day and Tyrone Williams, a group of teens on the city's north side unveiled a mural in order to demonstrate that teens need jobs and programs to help them stay out of trouble.

"We'd like more summer jobs and a place to hang out after school instead of the streets," said Jennifer Vera, mural participant.

The teens who painted the mural say it symbolizes their commitment to end the violence. its a commitment they hope those in other communities will embrace.

Governor Quinn is restoring state funding for Cease-Fire, a non-profit, anti-violence organization. The governor was applauded Saturday in Cease-Fire's west suburban office in Maywood.

He told state legislators and other community leaders that cease-fire can be considered a public health initiative, because it saves lives.

"It takes very, very courageous people who love their country more than self. They go on the streets, tough streets, sometimes-dangerous streets, and they prevent violence. And that's what we have to do all over this state," Gov. Quinn said.

Illinois government funding for Cease-Fire and other agencies had been cut to try to reduce spending and balance the state's budget.


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