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Grand Rapids marchers: “We will not tolerate violence in our community”

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio

Around 75 people marched in Grand Rapids Saturday afternoon, calling for an end to gun violence.

“We’re trying to get the message out, that anybody can be a victim. We've got the kids in the streets killing each other, we've got people getting killed going into shopping malls, court houses, movie theaters,” Theresa Ward, one of the march's organizers said.

The group marched in the drizzle through Grand Rapids’ southeast side, announcing in a megaphone: “We will not tolerate violence in our community,” and “Violence is not the answer!”

Ward says they’re trying to raise awareness, particularly among young people, that violence doesn’t just hurt those they intend it to; and to think of the potential consequences before they act.

Ward helped organize Mothers Against Street Killings, which joined with other groups to organize this march. Teresa Ward helped start the group after her nephew was killed a few years ago.

She says people in the community want to help, to do something, and marching through the streets is just one way to do that.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station'sAmplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.