SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens of determined churchgoers took to the streets Sunday afternoon calling for an end to violence in Springfield.
Their banner reads ‘Campaign Nonviolence.’
The Bethel AME church in the Mason Square neighborhood leads this march every year. Supporters told 22News, their efforts take on more urgency in light of the violence during the past week.
Pastor Angelo Dawson said, “We’re concerned about violence in the community, we’re concerned about people and we just hope to make things better.”
Parishioner Jean Allen said, “We’re going through neighborhood to neighborhood trying to bring attention to the people who have died from violence, whether it’s street violence, gang violence, or domestic violence.”
Springfield Police commissioner John Barbieri told 22News that only good can come from this march through the Mason Square neighborhood. Police need support from neighbors to put the violent elements out of business. “Hopefully if we can get people to understand that we’ll need that ID, we need someone to provide us with the tools that we need to get. This intel they give us is critical to solving these cases.”
This is a march held each year to call attention to the problems facing the people who live in this neighborhood. They are activists striving for a lifestyle without violence.