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Marchers Protest Gun Violence in St. Pete

Guns | Gun | Pistol

By JON WILSON, Consulting Editor, TB Reporter

Mayor Rick Kriseman calls for a new day in the city.

ST. PETERSBURG — Chanting “No more guns,” an estimated 200 people walked a half-mile down the middle of Central Avenue Friday (Dec. 18) to push back against a recent spate of firearms violence. Mayor Rick Kriseman called for the march this week after the latest in a series of gunshot deaths involving young people.

“We are speaking as one voice,” Kriseman told the group. “Enough! Enough!”

Police escorted the marchers and temporarily closed a section of Central between 13th and 22nd Streets. The diverse crowd included young and old, black and white. Several other elected officials and neighborhood leaders were present. One man rolled in a wheelchair, and a girl pushed along on a scooter.

City Council member Lisa Wheeler-Brown, whose son died in a shooting incident several years ago, had a microphone and amplifier to lead chants. Some were reminiscent of 1960s demonstrations. “What do we want?” Wheeler-Brown asked, and the marchers responded: “Peace!”

“When do we want it?”

” Now!”

Eddie Pelham, a minister who said he spent 25 years in prison, begged young people to think before making bad decisions. And he called for mentors to help young boys and young men. “It’s time for the men to stand up,” said Pelham, who founded a program for at-risk youth. “The women have been doing it long enough.”

St. Petersburg | Events | Marches | Crime | TB Reporter

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