Students march to stop violence

July 31, 2012 4:41:42 PM PDT
Dozens of school kids marched against violence in downtown Chicago carrying the message that they want to live and not die.

The kids are from the city's Englewood community, which has seen more than its share of violence.

Tuesday, the students called for an end to the bloodshed.

Bishop James Dukes of the Liberation Chirstian Center of the Chicago led a rally of 400 youths against violence and killing in their community.

The rally was called We Want to Live and Not Die Youth March. They marched from the State of Illinois Building to the county building, City Hall, the Federal Building and to the school board.

"We want our voices to be heard," said Emerald Dukes. "We will not sit by and idly watch our generation deteriorate."

Bishop Dukes invited the city, county, state and school board to show up and talk about their youth agenda.

"We are looking for all the politicians," he said. "We want you to come forth to tell us what your youth agenda is."

Englewood youth, along with other Chicago youth, say that they are sick and tired of the crime that exists in the city. For many of them, when they leave their home in the morning and go to school for the day, they never know if they're going to come home alive.

"Every morning I have to wake up saying, 'am I going to make it to school safe,'" said student Mario Williams.

"I am tired of people getting killed," said Harper High School senior Venesha Edwards. "Every time we turn on the news, a young person is getting killed."

"We are a movement we can make a change," Kierra Gree said. "It's through us that change will happen."

Officials representing political leaders and the school board said they want to work with the youth.

"We're working with the mayor's office and the Chicago police department to bring a safer environment into the community," said Deon Wood of Chicago Public Schools.


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