Twenty-two doves took flight, spiraling over Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River Wednesday, as Father Michael Pfleger and his followers remembered those slain in the city in 2014.
“Chicago, we’re better than this,” Pfleger said, standing with supporters at Pioneer Court. “We’re better than shooting and killing. We’re better than living in fear every single day in our neighborhoods.”
Father Michael Pfleger (left) and Phil Hunter take part in a peace march on Michigan Avenue Wednesday with members of Saint Sabina Church. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times
The group, estimated at about 200, marched up and down Michigan Avenue. Many came carrying framed photographs of their loved ones lost to gun violence in the city.
“We don’t want another mother or father to feel the pain that we feel and stand out here with us again,” said marcher Pam Bosley, who lost her son, Terrell Bosley, to gunfire in 2006. “So in 2015 we need this to end.”
Pfleger urged an end to the city’s “love affair” with guns.
“We’re in downtown Chicago because this is all of Chicago’s problem,” Pfleger said, calling the deaths and shootings in the city last year “unacceptable.”
“That’s sick,” he said. “That’s a scandal for our city.”
At the end of the march, Rob Nicholls, with “White Birds Express,” released the doves as the crowd yelled, “Peace!”
Protesters went up and down Michigan Avenue Wednesday to draw attention to the toll of gun violence in Chicago. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times
Princess, 8, (left) and Courtney, 9, were among those marching on Michigan Avenue Wednesday afternoon with members of Saint Sabina Church. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times