(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2013)
On Friday a mother marched in Roxbury so her children could play in the family’s front yard. A daughter marched for her friends’ safety.
Close to 100 community members, advocates, and politicians took to the streets of Roxbury’s Warren Gardens neighborhood to let the community and those committing the violence know that “enough is enough.”
“This is a neighborhood that refuses to be overrun by violence,” said Roxbury City Councilor Tito Jackson, one of the organizers of Friday’s march. “We’re going to stand up, we’re going to lean on one another; we’re going to take all the resources we have and use them to bring peace to these neighborhoods and communities.”
There have been 140 shootings in the city of Boston since the beginning of the year, according to the most recent data released by the Boston Police Department. That figure was last updated on July 9.
In Roxbury, residents say, the neighborhood has been especially hard hit.
“You are not going to drive us out,” said Jackson. “These streets are made for families, these streets are made for people who believe in peace and peace will conquer all.”
Marchers met on the corner of Fenno Street and Walnut Avenue, armed with signs, songs, and neighbors.
The location was chosen because of a shooting that took place there last month. The day before the march was held another young man was also shot on the street.
Despite the violence, and the funerals, many of those residents who gathered Friday said they wouldn’t want to live in any other neighborhood.
“We’re not scared to live over here,” explained Monica Cannon, a Roxbury resident and 32-year-old mother of three. “A lot of people are used to not saying anything and when you don’t say nothing then nothing happens.”
“We need resources; we need things for these kids to do. With them cutting everything it leaves the youth with too much time on their hands to get into negative stuff,” added Cannon.
The need for resources and a dedication to a community many have called home for generations was at the center of Friday’s march. Some called for summer jobs, others voiced support for investment in schools, but all agreed that the violence is getting worse and that it will take all of Boston to fix it.
“I think the resounding message was, we got a lot of work to do,” said Michael Curry, president of the Boston chapter of the NAACP. “We need everybody; from Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Wellesley, and Newton wherever you are we need that sort of collective energy that happened after the bombing at the marathon to be right here in Roxbury where we are losing many more people.”
Friday’s march, dubbed “Enough is Enough,” is an off-shoot of a similar initiative in Baltimore, MD and local organizes said it won't stop at Warren Gardens.
Friday's march was first of several marches planned for the area in the coming months, with another set for 7 p.m. Friday, July 19, at Grove Hall’s Mecca.
“The objective of this is to bring it to the places that the violence is happening,” said Jackson. “We want people to know they are not forgotten. We had a lot of cameras on Boylston Street and we want to make sure we have cameras on Fenno Street, that we have cameras on Blue Hill Avenue, that we have cameras on Warren Street and those lives are valued in the same fashion.”