Rally addresses recent violence toward children in Philadelphia

Posted: August 08, 2014

GENAYA LEE has not personally lost anyone to violence in Philadelphia, but as a member of the organization Mothers In Charge, she wants to help and support people who have.

"This is not what I want for my child. It's not. I don't want this for anybody's children," said Lee, 22, of Strawberry Mansion, who has a 4-year-old daughter. "Because they are our future - we can't do without them."

Lee was one of about 125 people who converged on LOVE Park last night as part of an anti-violence rally focused on solutions as well as addressing the recent killings of children in Philadelphia. The demonstration was led by the Father's Day Rally Committee, a Philly anti-violence organization that also seeks to promote a positive image of African-American men.

About 5:30 p.m., activists started to gather in the park near Suburban Station. A few held signs that said "Stop the Violence."

An intricate drum performance and dance routine were followed by speeches by local politicians including District Attorney Seth Williams, state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson.

Williams, who took the stage first, flashed his badge and then said everyone in the crowd had been "deputized" as an assistant district attorney.

"Because it's not just my responsibility to keep Philadelphia safe. It's not just the Police Department's responsibility," he said. "It's everyone's responsibility."

But the rally primarily served as a way to connect people to various groups so they could take action after it ended.

"We can play games, have these marches and these rallies," said Anton Moore, 28, of South Philadelphia, president and founder of the gun-violence-prevention group Unity in the Community, "but we got go out there and do something."

On Twitter: @dylan_segelbaum

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