Photo caption: FATHER MICHAEL PFLEGER’S last peace march for the summer of 2023 ended with over 100 supporters shutting down the controversial Falcon Fuel gas station, located at 79th and Ashland. Pfleger said there have been numerous shootings and open drug sales at that gas station. Pfleger’s supporters at the station prayed for change. The station owners did not come outside. Pfleger also prayed for a couple of male youths who asked for prayer. (Photo by Chinta Strausberg)
On his last peace march for the summer, Father Michael Pfleger late Friday, September 8, shut down the controversial Falcon Fuel gas station at 79th and Ashland, where he said many people have been shot, and drug deals are made openly.
Followed by scores of peace marchers, Pfleger left Saint Sabina headed toward 79th and Racine where they marched west past the gas station to another area, doubled back, and shut the gas station down for about 20 minutes.
Of the 79th and Ashland Falcon Fuel gas station, Pfleger said, “It is a horrible place. Many people have been shot there, drug dealings going on.” Pfleger said there have been many complaints about that gas station, and he and supporters prayed for a change.
Led by a Sixth District police squad car and followed by a sound truck with several red and white signs that read, “A gun is not the answer,” Pfleger and scores of peace marchers circled the gas station praying with Reverend Lamar Johnson, Glenda Franklin and others, for peace and an end to gun violence.
Earlier, Pfleger was joined by former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan who urged the peace marchers to continue marching.
Pfleger spoke of the funeral of a 20-year-old college student held earlier Friday at Saint Sabina. “There is nothing more evil than looking at a child in a casket. We’ve got to stop that,” Pfleger said referring to the funeral of Daemond Russell, who was fatally shot in an attempted armed robbery on August 28, 2023, at a Shell gas station, located at 1650 E. 95th St.
Russell had taken a year off from Clark Atlanta University to start his own business. His family said he was an aspiring graphic artist.
Throughout their march, the peace marchers handed out pluggers that read, “A gun is not the answer! Looking for support or a job? Call…The Employment Resource Center, 7823 S. Racine. That number is (773) 783-3760.”
Ending the peace march at the Saint Sabina Rectory, Pfleger wished supporters safe passage home and invited them to meet him Sunday, September 10, at the Dan Ryan Woods, 83rd and Western in Groves 15 and 16.
That Sunday, Pfleger conducted an outdoor church service and picnic in the park. Parishioners brought their own chairs, blankets and food. Live music was provided along with bouncy houses for the children. The outdoor service was attended by Cardinal Blase Cupich who interacted with parishioners and friends.