DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) – People in Decatur are organizing to end violence. They held the first ever “Stop the Violence Project Fest” this weekend.
Dozens of people gathered under a tent off of north church street in Decatur. There was singing, praising, and praying from people of all backgrounds.
It took place in an empty lot between 2 boarded-up and graffiti homes. Right nearby was what seemed to be some sort of memorial. As several faith leaders and community advocates preached and prayed for an end to the violence.
The event started on Friday. Sunday was the last day of the event. They had a peace march around the neighborhood. Organizers said there were even more people out Sunday than any other night.
One woman told me a shooting had happened just a block away from her home. She said things have gone too far.
“Let’s come together and do what we can do to protect our children. It’s your mother, it’s your sister, it’s your brother, it’s all of us. Please let’s get together and do what we can to save each other because I’m telling you it’s all of us,” Rama Shaw said. “I never thought anyone would shoot up next to my house because I didn’t do anything to deserve it, but that’s what they’re doing now. They’re just shooting anywhere.”
Organizers said they felt they had to do something after a recent string of violence, and as gun violence continues to rise in Decatur and across Central Illinois.