Students hold peace rally: 'Don't be a victim, be a voice' - FOX 32 News Chicago

Students hold peace rally: 'Don't be a victim, be a voice'

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Thousands of people attended a peace rally on Thursday designed to end the violence that plagues some of Chicago's neighborhoods.

As the number of killings increase on a daily basis, Perspectives Charter School students took a stand against violence and spreading a message of peace by staging a march. 

"Enough is enough. It's time to stop the violence in Chicago. The fact that young people like myself are speaking out means it really is time," organizer 17-year-old Razia Hutchins said. 

The I Am for Peace March was held Thursday at 9:30 a.m. near 23rd and Dearborn. Community, business and faith leaders are served as grand marshals for the event.

The event is part of a student documentary titled "I Am for Peace," that is being created by two former producers of the Oprah Winfrey show. Hutchins started the I Am For Peace movement a few years ago and got her teachers and peers involved. The message of both the march and documentary is to solve conflicts with peace, not with guns.

"You don't have to be a victim, be a voice. Love who you are, speak with them and challenge each other intellectually," Hutchins said.

The students say they want to take over the streets and let the gangs know they are doing something about the violence. They want them to know that there are people out there who care and want to bring about change. Students say they are tired of hearing their city called "Chi-raq."

"It's sad for us. Our friends, we don't know if we are going to see our friends next summer. We want to see the same people, we want to sit in the class with them again," one student said.

At the end of the march, participants will rally at a "peace jam" at 36th and Wabash - one of the city's most violent areas.

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