Chicago youth join forces, demand end to violence against children

Shootings have been on the rise for the past month in Chicago and Saturday, a crowd of children and young adults gathered to say enough is enough.

Young people spent Saturday afternoon marching to make a difference near Washington Park. They are kids who already carry a huge burden after seeing so many of their peers killed.

Every picture on a poster they carried is a life lost. Juanita Tennyson knew them all.

“They push me. I got to show love, I can’t give up, I can’t be upset, I have to keep going,” said Tennyson.

The 23-year-old’s joined forces with Good Kids, Mad City. It’s a student-led advocacy group calling on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to do more than tweet about gun violence.

“We want Lori Lightfoot to pay attention and stop giving $1 billion plus to police and start giving to communities that actually need it,” said Miracle Boyd.

The students are pressing for an ordinance to reallocate two percent of the Chicago police department’s budget to black and brown communities.

“We must defund the police as it hinders us from reaching our full potential as a people,” said Jai Simpson.

The money from their “Peace Book” would pay community leaders to work one-on-one with gangs to reduce the violence in high crime areas.

“We’re trying to get it passed on the city level and even the state level too so we can like really fund our communities and get people off the streets from cause of harm because you never know when it’s gonna be yours or you,” said Boyd.

It has been over seven years since Nathaniel Pendleton’s sister, Hadiya, lost her life.

“It’s been a lot of things that I’ve been going through my whole life and I lost like many people,” said Pendleton.

Pendleton joined the group Saturday, marching a mile up King Drive from 64th to 53rd Street, two corners where children’s lives were lost to gunfire in recent years.