PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Young people converged on Philadelphia’s Love Park Tuesday. They’re uniting against violence and calling on people to put the guns down.
The peace rally was organized by two young men. They say they organized this peace rally because the people responsible for a lot of these shootings look just like them, and they’re saying enough is enough.
“The people that are doing the shootings are our age. They look like us, they talk like us, they walk like us,” organizer Joar Dahn said.
It’s no secret. Gun violence knows Philadelphia all too well. But young people in the city are saying enough is enough and are choosing love.
“On Father’s Day, there was a shooting at my younger brother’s graduation party. Unfortunately, a young man passed away. He was only 24 years old and the sole provider of his household,” organizer Cheick Diawara said.
That victim had no ties with criminal activity but was still shot and killed just minding his own business. That’s why his loved ones are calling on Philadelphians to Stand 4 Peace.
“If you want to put the gun down, that’s cool, I’ve got a hammer and a nail for you,” Diawara said. “Let’s teach you how to build a house because I feel like that’s the biggest thing that we need to tell our kids. ”
One of the organizers moved here from Liberia to escape war but says he felt more safe there than he does on the streets of Philadelphia.
City officials also attended the rally. Mayor Jim Kenney sent a plea to Philadelphia residents.
“I just want to say to our young people, we really do love you,” Kenney said. “We love you and we need you. I’m getting old and at some point in time, all of us are going to be retired somewhere and you’re gonna have to run this city and run this state and run this country. And if you don’t make it through life, you’re never gonna have a chance to do it.
“Look at each other as human beings, look at each other as someone’s child, someone’s grandchild, nephew, brother, sister and let’s just put these guns down and stop this and we’ll try to provide the resources that we can to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to meet their potential,” Kenney said.
Organizers hope participants really do Stand 4 Peace and take that message back into their communities.
“The youth are taking a stand and we are not OK with what’s going on right now,” Dahn said.
There is a fundraiser happening on Sunday to help the family of the young man who was shot and killed at the graduation party shooting. Information can be found on the flyer below.