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Brockton residents march to denounce recent violence

January 26, 2010  |  The Boston Globe  |  Link to article

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January 26, 2010 | The Boston Globe

Brockton Interfaith Community (BIC)


BROCKTON ­ Brockton residents representing a spectrum of racial and religious backgrounds yesterday denounced the upswing in violence in the city, where three people were slain in five days last week.

The Brockton Interfaith Community organized the event, which included a march and a round­table discussion at which attendees could air their concerns.

The march was organized in response to the recent spate in gun violence in the city, where a pair of siblings were fatally shot Thursday and a 23­year­old man was killed in a drive­by shooting Jan. 17.

But for Maria Vicente, a Brockton Interfaith Community leader, the final straw was in November, when 21­year­old

Anthony Hamilton was shot dead in broad daylight on her street. “I have a 6­year­old, and he didn’t need to see that body slumped over,’’ she said.

Marchers representing 13 churches associated with the Brockton Interfaith Community and other organizations met at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Brockton. After a brief prayer, the crowd marched to Brockton High School.

Bearing candles and singing “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands’’ and “This Little Light of Mine,’’ the marchers descended upon the school and lighted the candles. Before a moment of silence, Monique Hughes, Brockton Interfaith Community leader, stressed that a solution requires more than a march.

“This is not the end,’’ Hughes said, “because lighting a candle and marching isn’t going to do anything.’’

After the march, all were invited into the basement of Our Lady of Lourdes for round­table discussions.

“This is very encouraging,’’ Brockton’s mayor, Linda M. Balzotti, said in an interview after the talks. “There are people of all different ages, and people are speaking their minds, and that’s the first step.’’

Brockton High School’s principal, Susan Szachowicz, said she was encouraged by the show of support by so many who are not involved with the school.

“What was wonderful about this is I didn’t recognize most of the people, and I live here,’’ she said.


Sean Teehan can be reached at (