Gov. Pat Quinn joined the Rev. Michael Pfleger to lead 150 people on an anti-violence march through a South Side neighborhood Friday night.
“Blessed are the peacemakers,” Quinn told the crowd before they started marching through St. Sabina’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood.
“We are a family in Illinois, we’ve got to stick together, we’ve got to fight the violence,” Quinn told the crowd.
“This is our neighborhood. Every neighborhood in Illinois belongs to the people, not to those who would perpetrate violence.”
On Friday, shootings continued in the city. One person was killed and at least 10 others were wounded from 6 p.m.-10 p.m., officials said.
Pfleger compared the violence in Chicago to Hurricane Katrina, saying, “I believe governor, that the violence we’re facing right now in America, particularly in Chicago, this is our Katrina. And how we handle it, as a community, as a city, as a state, as a country, how we handle this, is gonna be our legacy.”
Before the march, Pfleger defended the controversial state run Neighborhood Recovery Initiative anti-violence program, which has landed the governor in hot water lately.
“Let me be clear,” Pfleger said. “That 2010 program, we were part of that program. And I’m glad we were part of that program.”
He told the governor, “we know whole lot of folks did not care about violence in the city of Chicago, you had the courage to step out and do something about it.”
As the march wound through the neighborhood, the governor posed for photographs with people he met on the street and even went into a barbershop to shake hands with patrons.
“We’re a family,” he said. “We’ve got to stop the violence.”
Marchers waved signs that said “honk for peace” at passing cars. One man in a red Lexus rolled down his window and shouted, “Father Pfleger, Father Pfleger, thank you.”