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Residents take steps to reclaim community

July 14, 2012
The Herald-Star

The community must come together to stop the violence on city streets.

One such event Sunday brought out a couple hundred people all with that goal.

A group of residents has been holding weekly marches along Steubenville streets to spread the message of peace and love. The group held a cookout Sunday at the North End park and ballfield.

Its goal is to reach out to the young men in the neighborhoods to offer them something other than violence and drugs.

The group unofficially calls itself the United Peace Movement. They want to bring the light of hope to the streets that recently have been filled with gunfire.

Part of the event on Sunday was a balloon launch to remember the dozens of people killed over the years by the senseless violence on the streets.

City leaders have been calling on residents to help and come forward with information about the shootings. It appears to be working as police are getting the help they need from residents.

The people who organized the event Sunday and have been holding weekly walks need to be commended for the concern they are showing in what is going on in the community. They are exactly what the city needs. Their message has to be constant and we urge them not to give up. We also urge others to join the movement in spreading the word that violence has no part in the community.

"We know there is darkness here, but we also know there is light that will make the darkness disappear. We equate the light to positive changes in our community," said Dawud Abdullah of B.A.S.I.C. Circle, one of the organizers of the peace cookout on Sunday.

Several community leaders took the microphone Sunday to spread the message about violence on city streets. They showed fear is not an option.

Organizers are walking in areas of the city many believe aren't safe. But there are some many innocent residents living on those streets. They need everyone's help in ridding their neighborhoods of the guns, drugs and violence.

The community needs to come together to take back the streets.

The weekly marches and the peace cookout Sunday are a great step in that direction.

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