Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Residents' Feet Meet Concrete to Save Lives `People Are Tired of Losing Family, Friends'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Residents' Feet Meet Concrete to Save Lives `People Are Tired of Losing Family, Friends'

Article excerpt

Napoleon Jones, dressed in a gray suit, was going to a funeral

when he glimpsed 37 people walking up Moncrief Road yesterday

morning.

Two police cars drove before the group, and two followed. The

people sang a gospel song, and then chanted "Up with hope! Down

with dope!" and other messages.

Jones had stopped at a relative's house when he first saw the

group and walked to the corner to get a better look. There he

saw what was a march against violence, moving through the heart

of North Jacksonville.

He was not the only one to notice. Earlier, as the marchers

turned from Myrtle onto Moncrief, three firefighters walked out

of Station 18 and waved. One block later, at Holley's Bar-B-Q

stand, a man grinned and yelled, "I can't hear you!" A few

minutes later, a woman opened her front door to look at the

passing ruckus and then smiled.

"I think it's great," Jones, 55, said of the march. "The more

they do it, the more influence it has."

Jones' observation spoke to a growing pattern of anti-violence

marches in Jacksonville. Other recent marches, sponsored by

various groups, include a February 22 "Victory Over Violence"

parade that ended at Paxon High School; an April 25 "March for

Justice" in downtown Jacksonville; and a May 4 march through

Grand Park to mark the shooting death of 11-year-old Dewayne

Lundy.

Why all the marches lately?

"Because people are getting tired of losing family and friends

to violence," answered William Ford, 22, one of yesterday's

marchers.

Like the other marchers, Ford had known someone who died from

handgun violence. Ford's friend, Timothy Ashley, died in April

1992 of a gunshot wound to the chest. He was 18.

Ford's pain was shared by the organizer of the march, Gloria

Clayton, whose 15-year-old son, Shaka, was fatally shot in the

head in April 1994. …

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