Marchers call for end to gun violence

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Events dedicated to stopping gun violence were held around the city on Saturday. Despite different approaches, everyone's mission was the same.

Although the rain cancelled the Prayer on the 9 protest against gun violence march, the showers did little to damper the commitment of the people who still showed up.

"We have to standup. Even though it might be rain, sleet, or snow, we have to be here. We have to say something," said neighborhood resident Bardell Wilson.

"If you can go anywhere, you can come to prayer," said church member Dameka Bennett.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and others joined the concerned as the community and the congregation of New Life Covenant Church gathered for a seventh year to decry the violence.

"Silence means approval. When you don't say anything it means that you approve of this senseless violence. So, I come out to say no, this is unacceptable," said New Life Covenant Church Pastor John Hannah.

Instead of the songs and symbolism of last year, there were wooden crosses, made by Aurora resident Greg Zanis, each bearing the name of a person slain in Chicago this week.

Among them is Roy Summers' friend.

"We hope we won't let the city forget what his happened over the years," said Roy Summers.

The men of Alpha Phi Alpha also took to the streets, calling for jobs and investments in black neighborhoods.

"We know there's an economic disparity when you look at the two tales of Chicago. We want to make sure the South Side isn't left out," said Roosevelt Watkins of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

Those calling for peace say they chose 79th Street because they said it has long been a boundary for gang warfare.

"Between the Cottage Grove corridor, so the two sides on Cottage - East Side, West Side fighting each other," said Ald. Michelle Harris (8th Ward).

Despite the violence, Chicagoans like Michelle Mason won't stop praying for peace.

"I know there's power in prayer. We have to break the generational curses," said Michelle Mason.
Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.