Hundreds gather for peace walk ahead of school year's end

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Public School Year ends Tuesday, so Friday night hundreds gathered before students go on summer break to spread a message of peace.

On the streets of Auburn Gresham, they marched to the drumbeat of progress. The peace march was meant to signal a change in attitudes.

Earlier, on the steps of St. Sabina Church, a community was united in its resolve to end the violence.

"It's time to change the narrative from being the victim to being the victorious," said Father Michael Pfleger.

Grieving families held photos of their loved ones, as more than 200 names of young murder victims from the past 12 months echoed through the neighborhood.

"We must make it clear to all, but especially our young people, that violence is not the solution," said Cardinal Blase Cupich.

The event comes as Chicago police point to a decline in violence across the city. The number of shooting incidents since Jan. 1 are down 13 percent compared to the same period last year.

But just in the past week, violence in the neighborhoods has spilled o other parts of the city, including the beaches and downtown Riverwalk. Thursday night there was a shooting near Millennium Park.

"We take control of our homes first. Then you take control of your block. Then you take control of your community. Now we got control of Chicago," said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

The theme of the march was "Peace Starts Here," and it was the first of several Friday night peace gatherings that will be held this summer.
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