South Side Students Rally Against Violence

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The kids were preaching a message of peace on what's been proclaimed a National Day Without Hate. NBC 5's Anthony Ponce reports. (Published Friday, May 2, 2014)

    Around 100 young Chicagoans marched Friday to show unity against gun violence.

    The kids were preaching a message of peace on what's been proclaimed a National Day Without Hate.

    "These kids want to grow up. They want to be in a safe environment," 6th grader Lee Jones said.

    The rally was held near Bessemer Park in the 8900 block of South Muskegon, an area with one of the city's highest violent crime rates. It's violence that many students have experienced firsthand.

    "My friend and me were playing outside, and then his brother came out and told us to come in ... and then a car came around and the gangs were in there and they just started shooting and they shot his brother and we just got down," 7th greater Marcus Centeno said.

    Bowen High School 10th grader Elezha Hudson says things have been getting worse recently.

    "Both of my friends just got shot a couple of days ago. It was kind of weird to hear because I was just talking to them right before they got shot," Hudson said.

    She hopes the message of unity and piece resonates to those in other violent parts of Chicago.

    "I believe if you stick together, violence really wouldn't be a problem," Hudson said.

    Students from seven different schools attended the rally, all the way from elementary school kids to high schoolers.