CeaseFire Calls for Violence Reduction

January 18, 2008

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If Martin Luther King Jr. were alive, he'd be displeased by the gun violence gripping Chicago. That was the message Thursday at a CeaseFire rally to honor Dr. King.

Last year, there were 442 homicide victims in the city. That's a number that the group CeaseFire says it can lower through its gang intervention work.

And also last year, dozens of Chicago youth died from gun violence. CeaseFire's Tio Hardiman says by partnering with community organizations, they can help young people find better alternatives.

HARDIMAN: Talk with all the high-risk youth in Chicago to get them to put their guns down and then also try to find alternatives and employment opportunities for some of these young men and women so they won't have to be on the blocks selling drugs or shooting somebody.

And then, in the slushy cold weather, dozens of people walked along 63rd and Harper. They released hundreds of white balloons in tribute to those Chicagoans killed by violence.

I'm Natalie Moore, Chicago Public Radio.