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Activists spreading anti-violence message

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Mike Desmond/wbfo news
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Anti-violence activists say they will be going across the city pushing against street violence. On Wednesday, they were at Grant and Ferry streets.

Pedestrians told Murray Holman they felt unusually safe as they walked through the busy intersection in the ethnically and racially diverse neighborhood where the activists were spreading their message of street peace.  Holman is the executive director of the Stop the Violence Coalition and a long-time campaigner against violence on city streets.

He says jobs will help and his group is working with kids in city schools to tell them better times are here and entrepreneurial opportunities are on the way.

"People get ahold of these guns and they just feel that if they have a gun, they have to use it," said Coalition founder Rudolphus Boans Jr.

"A lot of it is also ignorance, too. They feel that some times because other folks got guns, that they have to have a gun to protect themselves. But they are doing it the wrong way because most of these guns are illegal guns."

Boans says guns are legal but the real need is education to make sure people don't use them and understand the risks to others from gun violence.

While much of the violence is on the East Side, it occurs across the city like the shooting of a bystander in an incident last Thursday at Allen and Elmwood in Allentown.