Memorial Day weekend kicks off with a crusade against violence throughout Chicago.
The mayor joined community leaders on the south and west sides with a call to “put down the guns.”
It’s being called the “summer of faith and action.” The plan is to head-off another hot and violent summer in Chicago.
But it didn’t unfold exactly the way the mayor’s office had hoped.
Mayor Emanuel was heckled at one anti-violence event along with other organizers of a campaign to end this summer’s street violence before it can truly begin. The mayor calls it a cause central to everything he believes in and says he’s seen hope in Chicago communities plagued by gangs and guns and heard stories that inspire him. He also he knows how deeply-rooted the problems are and how long this fight will be.
“I want the whole city to speak with one voice this weekend: Put the guns down. These streets belong to our children. They belong to our families,” he said.
There were sparse turnouts at some of the night’s events like one on the south side that was held in memory of recent shooting victims Summer Moore and Endia Martin.
Still other gatherings around the city drew bigger crowds, but also anger that was directed at city hall.
It’s a call to action with some high-profile help. The mayor recruited Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and NBA hall-of-famer Isiah Thomas to let neighborhoods like Englewood and Back of the Yards know that no matter what they do to take back their streets this Memorial Day weekend, they’re not doing it alone.