Peace march draws up to 1,000 to church, civic center
on March 6, 2010
Police estimated that 700 to 1,000 people took the streets today in peaceful activism.
The target: local violence that has claimed at least 54 lives since Jan. 1, 2009, and jolted the city Feb. 14 when three youths opened fire in a local church.
Today’s demonstrations began at 11 a.m., with seven minutes of simultaneous prayer at 210 street corners throughout the city.
Later, residents and local church and civic leaders converged on the Civic Center, where speakers, music and social service vendors were on hand.
From there, police cordoned off roadways for the marchers, as up to 1,000 walked from the Civic Center, across 23rd Street, and to New Gethsemane church at the corner of 21st Street and Roosevelt Avenue.
“It was a rainbow out there today,” said Rev. Andre Shumake, one of the organizers. “It was reflective of what Richmond is, and it planted a seed that we will continue to nurture.”
In a gesture to symbolize solidarity against violence and nonviolent protection of a house of worship, the demonstrators then linked hands, creating a human circle around one square block surrounding the church.
Civic leaders including Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and Council members Maria Viramontes, Nat Bates and Jeff Ritterman participated.
“I think people from all over the Bay Area came to make a statement and to say no we won’t be silent, we are going to stand up, we are going to make this known,” said Bishop J.W. Macklin, one of the leaders of the two-week schedule of peace events that has drawn support from more than 80 area churches. “That there is one voice, one hope, one city and we are going to make this work.”
Richmond Confidential welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Richmond Confidential assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content.
Richmond Confidential is an online news service produced by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism for, and about, the people of Richmond, California. Our goal is to produce professional and engaging journalism that is useful for the citizens of the city.
Please send news tips to email@example.com.