NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Residents in Newark held a large anti-violence demonstration Friday afternoon to, as organizers put it, “Make violence a public health emergency.”
Demonstrators shut down several small intersections and then converged on a major one at Broad and Market streets, stretching yellow tape from one end of the crosswalk to the other to block the four-way traffic.
The Newark Anti-Violence Coalition, the prime organizer of the event, said it hoped to inconvenience the city ahead of the Labor Day weekend to make a point about violence, especially as it relates to young people.
1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon Reports
One protester said people who think they are not affected, need to get involved.
“When you sit silently by, as all of these abnormal things are taking place in front of you, you’re basically giving consent to it to continue going on,” he told 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon.
Other demonstrators called for people who were standing by to join in.
“Every day you pick up a paper, you hear about some child being murdered in the city of Newark — murdered by one another,” one woman said.
Many bystanders also said they liked and agreed with the message.
“Because it’s too much violence in the city of Newark and we really need to get rid of our Mayor Cory Booker,” another woman said.
Much of the frustration with high crime was directed at the mayor. While the number of murders in Newark is down by 20 percent in 2012, the demonstrators said the numbers were still far too high.
Organizers said they hoped the rally would challenge officials, including Booker, other elected officials, along with clergy and the community to “unite around declaring senseless violence in the African-American and Latino American a public health emergency.”
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