Members of the Saginaw Chapter of the National Action Network invited people to leave gang and drug violence behind during a peaceful protest Thursday evening,
Leaders say they chose Veterans Memorial Park for the event because it's a neutral location where young men often meet to play basketball. They invited some of young men to join them in prayer and spread their message of peace and anti-violence, especially after a string of homicides in Saginaw.
â??We gotta start somewhere,â?? Pastor Cirven Merrill said. â??Maybe if we can get the gangs, the number of murders down, shootings down, then we can attract businesses to here, so that somebody would be willing to hire some of these young people. But you know, a lot of people don't want to come to a city and start a business here where you've got murders every week, you know? But if we can get those murder rates down, then sure, businesses will come back,â?? Merrill said.
Calling it a community peace project, Pastor Merrill encouraged anyone who might be involved in a gang to seek help and to call him at 989-529-0055.