JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A group of Jacksonville-area activists took to the streets of downtown Friday, rallying against gun violence.
It began outside the Duval County Courthouse. Those in attendance included members of the group “Quench the Violence.”
Community faith leaders were there too, along with mothers who have lost children to gun violence.
“Our babies are getting killed every day. They’re getting murdered. So we’ve got to be their voice. We’ve got to stop and try to find something that’s going to keep these guys off the streets,” said Ellia Wilson, who lost her niece to violence.
“I don’t think people really think about gun violence. They think about it in movies and TV, but they don’t think about it in their personal life until it hits them and it hits them at home,” added Crystal Anlige, who lost her son.
Organizers say they will continue to hold rallies like this in hopes of sending a message to criminals to stop senseless violence.
Earlier this week, Mothers living in Northwest Jacksonville who are fed up with gun violence took to the steps of City Hall. All were mothers who had lost children to gun violence.
They were called together by a state representative looking to send a message inside city hall that too many killings are happening in neighborhoods where there’s no shopping and many children drive across town to other schools.
The moms expressed that violence has been spiking in Northwest Jacksonville, particularly where schools are crumbling, infrastructure and drainage needs help and they simply can’t get businesses to start there -- meaning young people struggle to find jobs.
“It’s rough. It is very rough,” said Robin Clemons, whose son was killed last year. “I know these parents are going through it. There’s no way these parents are going through it. There’s no way you’re going to wake up in peace. No matter how old they are, they’re still our kids.”