WATTS (CBSLA) — Residents of Watts marched, rallied and spread their message Saturday.
The message was one of anti-violence. It was all about spreading love.READ MORE: Ticketholders To Filipino Festival FAHMfest Find Empty Parking Lot In San Pedro
CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Joy Benedict talked to some of the organizers and some of the participants about the importance of the 16th annual event.
As they walked, they chanted and said enough to violence.
“And when do we want it? Now!”
No one would argue with this premise. It was a plea they took through the streets, tired of the grim statistics and the pain and death.
They also chanted, “Stop the murder!”
Organizers and marchers stopped on every corner, in every neighborhood. The group of activists made sure their voices were heard — many did not need bullhorns, but those also helped.
“We lost a lot of people through the violence,” says Kandy Brown.
She grabbed her daughters and brought them to the rally — to let them know they deserved more, they deserve better.
“Because I have children and I want them to have better values than just violence,” says Brown.READ MORE: Lakers Lose To Warriors 121-114
The annual “Stop the Violence” march started at Watts Towers and ambled through the community as dozens chanted and carried sign.
The desire to stop the violence is profound. The message they were spreading was so simple, it’s scary.
“It’s much easier for a child to get a gun than he can get a job. And it shouldn’t be that way,” says resident James Farmer.
Regardless of where you live, it’s a message for everyone to rally around.
“It’s important to me personally because I have grand kids, you know, and I wanna be able to make sure they can live and go out to enjoy the parks and enjoy they self,” Farmer says.
Organizers started the march after a 12-year-old boy — a visitor — was shot and killed in this community and folks living here said enough is enough.
“He didn’t live in Los Angeles. He was from Texas and he was visiting his grandmother and there was a drive-by shooting,” Lydia Friend recalls.
Friend organized the Women of Watts Service Group and then this annual march and rally.
“We’re crying out saying stop! Stop the violence. Let’s have some love in our hearts. Let’s show love for one another,” Friend says.MORE NEWS: One Shot In Beverly Hills Robbery Outside Restaurant
Love and a sense of community this group clearly wants. They just pray their neighbors are listening.