Crusader Staff Report
Saint Sabina’s Father Michael Pfleger on New Year’s Eve will lead a march down Michigan Avenue to remember the hundreds of victims who were killed by gun violence this year.
Pfleger led a similar march on Michigan Avenue in 2016, when 788 people were killed that year, mostly from gun violence. Marchers carried two-foot wooden crosses from the Tribune Tower to the historic Water Tower at the intersection of Chicago and Michigan avenues.
Next week’s march will begin at noon, December 31, again in front of the Tribune Tower, 435 N. Michigan Ave.
This year, marchers will carry Chicago flags that will have four bloody bullet shots instead of the four stars. This year’s death toll from gun violence is expected to exceed the one from 2016. As of the 20th of December, 766 people have died from shootings, with 11 days remaining in 2020.
As of December 20, the coronavirus pandemic has killed 3,924 residents in Chicago. There is concern that the pandemic has taken the focus away from the city’s murders.
“We can’t just be silent over this murderous carnage in our city,” said Pfleger, who is pastor of St. Sabina Catholic Church, located in Auburn Gresham on the South Side, which has been devastated by violence.
“The shooting deaths are now on their way to a move upwards,” he said. “These numbers are not acceptable, must not be acceptable.”
“When Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson was in office, the numbers were consistently going down monthly. Since the beginning of 2020, under an interim top cop plan, they have been on the rise!
“We seem to be ignoring this fact in the midst of the COVID pandemic, which has already tragically claimed so many lives.”