COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Hundreds of Columbus community members gathered Tuesday with loud calls for safe streets as part of a peace rally held on the city’s east side.
Organizers want the violence to stop, especially violence involving children.
Advocates pushed for parents to get more involved in their children’s lives and be more accountable for their actions.
While the rally took place on the city’s east side, people from all parts of the city attended, from different groups and different teams, all with the same goal.
“Stop the violence, put down the guns, pick up the love,” resident Roy Robinson said.
Hundreds of feet hit the pavement of East Livingston Avenue, with chants to put down the guns coming from people of all ages, including 5-year-old Rylan Mills.
“Put down the guns, pick up love,” he chanted along with the others in the march.
Rylan’s mother Sarah Myles wants him and all the other children in Columbus to grow up in a safe city.
“Having kids, you never know what the world’s going to be like having a kid,” Myles said. “You think it’s the biggest blessing, which it is, but it’s also the scariest. So I think that you know, we just have to keep these kids safe every single day.”
They were among hundreds of people who marched from Walnut Ridge High School to the intersection of East Livingston Avenue and South Hamilton Road, the crowd made up of local groups who work with children, sports teams, and community members from all over the city who want to be part of the solution.
“We want to make our streets safer; we want to make our parks safer, it’s going to be up to us,” said one of the march’s organizers during the rally. “It’s going to be up to the adults that’s here to make sure we adults, parents, get your kids.”
The hot weather not stopping their march because they don’t want any more lives lost.
“It’s important to have them out here just to let them know there’s other ways than going to violence,” said resident Bradley Bryd.
“I just want him to understand there’s other ways than violence,” Sarah Myles said
“School,” her son chimed in.
“Yup, school and books and academics and sports and football,” his mother answered.
Organizers plan to hold similar events again.