Photos show participants in March for Our Lives downtown (above) and Ride for Peace in Avondale (below) anti-gun violence rallies on Saturday, June 11. Photos provided by Mitch Morris and J. Kearney

By Kendria Lafleur

WCPO with Cincinnati Herald Staff

People gathered in neighborhoods across the country and in Cincinnati on Saturday, June 11, calling for an end to violent crimes. Separate events were held, but they all called for the same thing. The passion was personal for some who were in attendance.

“My son had also made the news in 2019 or 2018 for murdering someone,” Tonya Sanderson said. She’s a pastor with the Shekinah Glory Missionary Church. She understands the pain violent crimes can cause to everyone involved. “I couldn’t bring that mother back to her children, so today I stand up and say no more.”

Jill Bowman (in red Moms Demand Action shirt) and Mitch Morris (far right), gather with Cincinnati police officers at Ride for Peace that Morris organized in Avondale.

She was part of a group of people who took their concerns to the streets. They marched on the West End and say change starts with children.

“I’m trying to be that one person that can make a change and say I care,” Darlene Anderson said. “I want to let these kids know that they can come to me no matter what. I care, so maybe one voice can make a difference in just one child.”

In Avondale, bikers kicked up their stands to ride for peace.

Bikers at Ride for Peace.

“We got everybody’s attention and that was the purpose,” rider Demetrius Andrews said.

They rode around the city, making their message loud and clear.

Ride for Peace car.

“I just hope they all understand and see when we ride through these neighborhood we all are one,” rider Brandon Ward said. “No matter the age or race, we can all come together as one.”

Jonathan Siller added, “We come together and have fun together and we’re not disrespecting nobody, we’re not killing nobody.”

Pastor Ennis Tait with Karen Rumsey, Health Program Manager & Witness Advocate, Cincinnati Police Department

“It’s got to stop,” Andrews said. “It has to stop at home. We have to control our kids to control our community.”

Ethan Nichols, president of Students for Gun Legislation, brought hundreds to the steps of City Hall for the March for Peace. 

All of the groups remain hopeful that their efforts will raise awareness. More events are in the works to help spread their message.

Women from Columbus in an organization for moms of murdered children.

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