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Augusta march puts focus on stopping violence

Saturday, June 23, 2012 2:43 PM
Last updated 9:42 PM
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As adults chanted “Save our families! Stop the violence!” around him Saturday, 12-year-old Trai Mitchell quietly marched along a 1-mile route through downtown carrying a sign he had made with a few of his friends.

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About 250 people participated in the second annual March Against Violence in downtown Augusta.  LISA KAYLOR/STAFF
LISA KAYLOR/STAFF
About 250 people participated in the second annual March Against Violence in downtown Augusta.


He was one of about 250 people who came out to May Park for the second annual March Against Violence.

Trai said he was there “to encourage people not to do violence.”

Organizer Patricia Hicks said the 38 homicides in Richmond County in 2010 alarmed her enough to take action. She started a mentoring program in River Glen Apartments, the scene of three homicides since May 2011.

“(The march) is something the kids wanted to do,” she said.

A rally featuring speakers, gospel music and mimes followed the march, which started at May Park and went up to Telfair Street before returning to the park. Hicks also introduced nearly two dozen representatives from organizations and churches that offer programs for youth.

Many people at the event have been touched by violence.

Unique Mother said she grew up with domestic violence in her home. She found no refuge in her neighborhood, as there was more violence and black-on-black crime there, she said.

As she became an adult and broadened her horizons, she saw it didn’t have to be that way.

“I started making positive changes within myself,” she said.

Now she is a mentor and speaks out against violence through spoken word.

“I want to stop the violence in our communities,” she said. “I want to see more lives lived longer than 20. I want something to pass on to my children.”

Violence can touch anybody, Juvenile Court Judge Willie Saunders told the crowd after the march. His 16-year-old cousin, Kyle Royal, was shot and killed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. He said it remains Richmond County’s only unsolved homicide of 2012.

“My family is a victim, as of this year, and I’m a judge,” he said.

Naomi Moody said her nephew was shot and killed in New York, but she feels fortunate that is as close as violence has come to her. Her children are grown and her grandchildren are small, and all are doing well.

Still, she does worry that she or one of her loved ones will become a victim of a violent crime any time they step outside of the house.

“I do worry in the sense that you never know,” she said. “It’s cause for concern.”

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itsanotherday1
45482
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itsanotherday1 06/23/12 - 03:48 pm
7
0
A hat tip and kudos to these

A hat tip and kudos to these folks for taking a stand. The solution is right there in the hands of the community; not the government.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 06/23/12 - 05:44 pm
6
0
A Classic Case

Here is a classic case for government's helping people help themselves. The decent folks of east Augusta- and there're a lot of them- need the help of the sheriff of Richmond County to take back their streets from the thugs, dopers, 'hos, drunks and other ne'er-do-wells who frequent them.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 06/23/12 - 07:10 pm
4
1
Agree with everything Craig

Agree with everything Craig Spinks said. The decent citizens need the help of law enforcement...not an enabling mentality that is destroying lives and communities.

itsanotherday1
45482
Points
itsanotherday1 06/23/12 - 07:35 pm
4
1
Folks, don't forget that good

Folks, don't forget that good behavior starts at home; locking them up is just treating the symptoms. Between treating the symptoms AND the disease, maybe they will be successful. I sure hope so, and God bless them for their example.

Jake
32923
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Jake 06/23/12 - 07:42 pm
4
1
Marching

A march I am in total agreement with.

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 06/23/12 - 08:38 pm
3
0
Locking them up is enforcing

Locking them up is enforcing the law, protecting the innocent, and instilling a sense of accountability to the perpetrator. Hopefully the 'punishment' will prevent them down from repeating the crime. I don't know when our society started to deviate from our written laws.

Bobbie 920
5861
Points
Bobbie 920 06/23/12 - 08:55 pm
5
1
More Marches

I think any area in Augusta that has problems such these good people do, need to start trying to take their neighborhood back! Marching is a good start, but whatever it takes (other than violance) needs to be done often, not just once, let the the trouble makers know you are serious. I live in the Harrisburg area, as everyone knows it needs cleaning up and cleaning out! Black + white , standing together, it can be done.

itsanotherday1
45482
Points
itsanotherday1 06/23/12 - 11:49 pm
4
0
Patty, until you treat the

Patty, until you treat the disease, AKA the reasons we are raising a culture of criminals, we can't build jails fast enough to contain them all. The culture of young men trying to have sex with as many women as they can (acting like animals instead of humans), young girls wanting to have babies just to have some love in their lives, a disrespect for education and a defiance to assimilate into the mainstream culture, a belief that the "government" will pick up the pieces for bad decisions, etc., etc.; is the problem. It started with Johnson's "Great Society" and an advancement of the welfare state, so here we are. Once upon a time poor families were intact with mother and father, and children were raised with respect for each other, law, and life. Welfare has enabled them to do what they want, when they want, without regard to traditions and societal rules that form the fabric of of our country. Unless and until THE PEOPLE recognize and address this, it will get no better. That is why I salute this group for standing up and saying "ENOUGH! It starts with us at home and grows outward from there."

Jake
32923
Points
Jake 06/24/12 - 01:21 am
6
0
Wow

I just love Bobbie 920's comment. It is all about community activism, vigilance and spirit. I wish you the best!!

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 06/24/12 - 10:52 am
4
0
iad1, I couldn't agree more

iad1, I couldn't agree more with your comments.
The people who live in these neighborhoods are responsible for them. Not the police. The police are there to assist when called upon. If people would get off their lazy butts, and stop waiting on the government to do every single thing for them this country would be a little better off.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 06/24/12 - 01:53 pm
2
0
itsanotherday....I have

itsanotherday....I have always talked about culture in dealing with problems in the communities. People are progressively getting to a point in believing that society should pay for criminals and their behavior instead of the perpetrator. Where this mindset came in and when is beyond me. I see the enabling attitude more in bigger cities (with huge crime problems) than I do in smaller, more intact communities. I blame parents, law enforcement, and the criminals. They all have contributed to the demise of the communities. But in the mean time, committing a crime should have a consequence. And for those who have to be a victim of crime, there should be some justice done in their behalf, not a mad rush to let the criminals off just to be PC. Tired of the excuses. Every problem of society can't be solved by saying "Oh, you robbed an old lady? We have a program for that" or, "you were shooting at the club? We have a program for that" Sometimes it really is as simple as punishment up to and including incarceration.

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