‘Enough Is Enough’ Anti-Violence Rallies Planned Through Summer
There have been 85 shootings in Boston since April of this year, and last Friday evening, a crowd gathered in Roxbury to announce “Enough is Enough.” City Councilor Tito Jackson helped to organize the rally, bringing together a coalition of activists and church leaders to stand together at the corner of Walnut and Fenno Streets, a small cul-de-sac in Warren Gardens where two of the shootings recently took place. More than 50 residents assembled as well, carrying signs that read “Stop the Killing” and “Peace is What We Need.” It was the first of a series of “Enough is Enough” anti-violence events that will be happening every Friday in violence-prone Boston neighborhoods this summer.
“We are here because right at number six, there was a shooting two weeks ago,” Jackson said, pointing to the apartment where the first shooting took place. “I got a call two nights ago, and there was another shooting on this very small street. This is where there are young people, where grandmothers sit, where families live. We’re here today to say we stand with you, and will will not walk away from you. And we will make sure that this community is safe.”
Jackson decided to start the campaign, which will take place in a new location each week, after talking with Nick Mosby, a Baltimore City Councilor who has launched a similar campaign in his city a few months ago. Mosby’s wife, Marilyn, grew up in Boston, and was on hand on Friday to help Jackson kick off the campaign. “This is where I’m from, and 85 shootings since April in Boston, Massachusetts, is unacceptable,” Mosby told the group. “It’s about time that we had visibility in our community the same way the drug dealers do. It’s about time that we have presence in our neighborhoods the same way the killers in the streets have a presence. This is our home, and this our community, and we need to take it back.”
For the next hour, the rally marched through the streets of Roxbury, chanting and stopping every few blocks to pinpoint the location of a recent shooting. They were accompanied by officials from the Boston Police Department, who reported that all 55 officers that just completed training at the academy will be assigned to Roxbury, Mattapan, and Dorchester to help stem the violence taking place. Neighbors parked their cars or walked off their porches to join the marchers, and the crowd had swollen at the hour’s end.
Jackson said that this was just a start, as the summer months are when most of the violence spikes in the city, and he plans to continue the rallies for the next seven weeks. He noted that it’s still early enough in the summer for local businesses to provide work for kids, and cited a recent Northeastern study that found that low-income youth who had summer employment were less likely to engage in violence. “We challenge the business community to step up and provide opportunities for jobs and training and continuing education,” Jackson said. “They can be a critical part of solving this. The need is there, but the resources aren’t. We’ve had a 25 percent increase in shootings since April 15 and we have to move with urgency and purpose to make it safe for these kids.”
The next rally will be held in Grove Hall on Friday at 7 p.m., with marchers meeting in the Stop & Shop parking lot.