CHICAGO - Three thousand kids, teachers, parents and community leaders gathered at 24th and Wabash this morning to march.
"We're calling out to Chicago residents to allow them to know that we need help to get our voices heard and to stopping this violence," said student Armaria Broyles.
"When young people stand up and be the voice for peace in our community, that's when you see it turn around," said Fr. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina.
They moved south to 36th and Wabash to the campus of Perspectives IIT Math and Science Academy. The school organized this event, now in its third year.
"They want to be able to live to their potential without being worried about getting shot. They have lost seven students in this school year. That's jaw dropping,” said Deputy Mayor Andrea Zopp.
"My son was a victim of gun violence a few months ago,” said Armmia Brown, one of the many parents in attendance. “Instead of him being a number, we wanted him to be recognized as a human being who had a future and who wanted to help solve this."
Today's demonstration came on a morning in which gun violence was rampant citywide.
"I have a young son as well. He's off at college in California. I don't want him to come home for the summer because of the violence," said Tameka Brown.
At 1:30 am, an 18-year-old was shot in the 1200 block of West Erie. An hour later, a man walked into Loretto Hospital on the West Side; he had been shot in his hand. In Humboldt Park this morning, a man and woman tried to run away from armed robbers. They could not, and both of them were injured.
"I have lost family members to it, and I want it to stop," said student Semaj Roy.
The mother of Chicago Bull Joakim Noah came to say that enough is enough.
"It's unacceptable what's happening here. My son and I care a lot about Chicago, and I think that this fight is something we all have to do together as one," said Cecilia Rodhe.