Carol M. Ostrom (Seattle Times):
A march and rally, sponsored by a coalition of youth-violence-prevention organizations, drew students from public and private schools around the South Seattle area.---As a crowd of young people, parents, grandparents, teachers and pastors marched down Rainier Avenue South on Saturday, trying to rally their community against violence, the names of the dead were with them.
There was Desmond Jackson, 22, shot in February outside a Seattle nightclub; there was Diaquan Jones, 16, shot in late 2008 at a mall; and Alajawan Brown, 12, gunned down in the spring of 2010 as he was returning home from buying a pair of football cleats.
In a pink fuzzy hat and a butter-yellow jacket, Gracie Williams, 70, a great-aunt of Jackson, marched with the crowd.
"I'm marching against murder," she said. "I don't see just my pain any more. It's not just about Desmond," who was beloved by his extended family, she said. "There's something going on about murder and violence."
The march and rally, sponsored by a coalition of youth-violence-prevention organizations, drew students from public and private schools around the South Seattle area, including Rainier Beach, Franklin and Seattle Urban Academy.
Many wore T-shirts distributed by Paul Patu and his Urban Family Center. "Who's Next?" the shirts proclaimed, an apparent reference to Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Florida youth killed in February.
But Patu, the son of Seattle School Board member Betty Patu, who helped organize the march and rally, said his work came long before that killing.
"The truth of the matter is that youth violence has been in our community for a while," Patu said.
Also on Saturday, a separate group marched from Mount Zion Baptist Church to downtown, in protest of Martin's death. Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch volunteer who told police he fired in self-defense. Martin, who was walking home from a convenience store after buying Skittles and iced tea, was unarmed.
Cedric President-Turner, an 18-year-old Tacoma high-school student who is a second cousin of Martin's, told more than a hundred people gathered in Westlake Park: "We are not going to stop. We are going to keep fighting until justice is served for everyone." MORE...