(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2012)
Mothers, daughters, sons, clergy, elected officials, and most importantly fathers marched in Roxbury Sunday afternoon to let the community know they are sick and tired of the endless violence.
Sponsored by the Fathers Against the Murder Epidemic, the first ever Father’s Day March for Peace brought out over 100 supporters sporting banners and signs calling for an end to violence in the neighborhood and bordering areas.
“We’re tired. We’ve been going through this for a long time and we’ve had a lot of things that have been happening that we as men haven’t stood out for,” said John Laing, 45, a Hyde Park resident and one of the organizers of the march. “This being Father’s Day we thought it was important for us to take our day to say this important to us we’re going to march and were going to do whatever we can to end violence in our community.
According to data provided by the Boston Police Department the city has had 20 homicides in 2012. The majority of this year’s murders have taken place in Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan. At this time last year the city had only experienced 15 homicides.
Chanting “up with jobs, down with murder,” marchers made their way from Malcolm X Park on Martin Luther King Boulevard to Grove Hall.
“We need to realize that boys and girls are born but men and women are raised,” City Councilor Tito Jackson said to the crowd at Grove Hall. “We were all raised up, whether you had you mom and dad together you still need a community, you need the coaches, you need the pastors, you need everyone in this community to help raise you and make sure you end up in the right place.”
The march, which briefly stopped at Malcolm X’s childhood home on Dale Street for a prayer, had many on the street watching as it wound through the neighborhood with some onlookers joining as it passed by their homes.
“I think when people see people marching they say, ‘ok they stand up for what they believe in’ and it gets the community together and shows the community that we really do mean business,” said Jasmine Whitehead, 23, a Roxbury resident.