Occupy Rogers Park, Allies to Erect Memorial and Host Tribute for Record Number of Chicago Homicide Victims

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Begins long term action on root causes of the violence

ROGERS PARK—(ENEWSPF)—December 14, 2012. Occupy Rogers Park announces an event to recognize the 496 people killed in Chicago so far this year, to demand action to end the violence, and to inaugurate their own youth initiative. The event will take place on Saturday, December 15 at 4 p.m. at Lunt Beach (Lunt Avenue and the lakefront) and will include a display of 496 individual wooden stars, cut to resemble the iconic six pointed stars of the Chicago flag. Upon each star is written the name of one victim of violence, creating a powerful image of the fallen and it's cost to our communities.

According to Occupy Rogers Park member Kelly Hayes: "Violence and killing affects all of us and degrades our communities, and to address that we must confront the real causes, which disproportionately impact communities of color and the poor..."

Adds another member, Jim Ginderske, "A "war" on drugs and some of the strictest gun control laws in America can't overcome decades of neglect of education and other core functions of civil society. "

ORP will be joined by the Peace Angels, a mostly volunteer Rogers Park youth engagement group, and by the Overpass Light Brigade who will participate in the event to recognize the fallen. Other groups, including Occupy the South Side and Occupy El Barrio will join in our call for real solutions and peace on our streets. This event will also inaugurate the ORP youth initiative, an organized effort to connect youth to community members and to assist existing service providers in reaching our most vulnerable kids.

Occupy Rogers Park rejects the oversimplified cultural narrative of “gang related” criminality, which has consistently been used as a means of dismissing an epidemic of violence rooted in poverty and oppression. ORP believes that the real drivers of the violence are poverty, segregation, and corruption, and that our other systemic issues are rooted in that deadly combination and it's confluence here in Chicago. We have more police than any other large city, and very strict gun laws, yet homicide is a nearly daily occurrence in Chicago.

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