CHICAGO — For 20 minutes Monday evening, more than two dozen anti-violence protesters, made up of activists as well as family and friends of gun-violence victims, blocked traffic at the intersection of 87th and South Ashland in Chicago’s Brainerd neighborhood.
With Chicago police redirecting rush-hour traffic, they prayed and called on residents to take back their streets from the violent gun offenders who’ve injured more than 3,000 and killed more than 500 people in the city so far in 2016.
Two of those families at the protest were of Nahmar Holmes, 23, who was shot and killed in the 8900 block of South Justine about 5:30 p.m. Saturday, and Keekee Fleming, 18, who was killed when shots were fired into the crowd of mourners who came to a vigil remembering Holmes on Sunday. Two others at the vigil were shot and wounded.
“The violence has to stop. It has to,” said Nahmar’s mother, Sharquita Holmes. “Please, take heed. Love all. Love all, we all matter.”
Father Michael Pfleger and activist Ja’Mal Green led the demonstration. Each calling on residents to come out of their homes to confront the perpetrators of violence and for families of offenders to turn them in.
“When do we get disgusted enough to say ‘No more. No more shooting, no more killing. You’re not taking our children in Chicago anymore.’ We need everybody’s help,” said Pfleger, who led a prayer in the middle of the intersection.
Green called on Chicagoans to participate in a Day of Action on Saturday, September 24th. He said a mass showing of support, with residents coming out of their homes and buildings would begin at Noon.