Prayer Rally Held in Response to Ferguson Violence

As the National Guard is called into Ferguson, Missouri, members of the Erie community came together tonight for a “Don’t Shoot” rally.

They hope to spread a message of prayer, solidarity and peace.

"Just came here with my daughter, showing her that if we come together as a community then positive things will be able to happen,” said Anthony Easterling of Erie.

Easterling and his daughter attended the prayer rally on Monday night, hoping to bring positive things to the Erie community.

Christ Community Church organized the event in response to what has been roughly a week of violence in Ferguson, Missouri and to acknowledge the violence that happens here in Erie.

More than 30 people gathered at Wooga Park to listen to clergy members, Jay Breneman from Erie County Council and the Eastside Eagles Neighborhood Watch Group.

Rally goers also prayed and sang for those being affected by violence everywhere.

Event organizer, Reverend Darrell Cook, called the event a faith initiative, and says that while rallies like this one don't stop the violence, they do bring people together to start a conversation.

"It also serves as a good outlet because you know, people have these emotions, they have this stuff they're feeling and we don't wanna channel that hate in places that it shouldn't be channeled. We all wanna come together, we all wanna support each other and we just wanna stand together in solidarity,” said Reverend Cook.

"We're neighbors, we're sisters, we're brothers, we're people. The fabric of our humanity is connected to each other and whatever happens to you, I'm bound up in that and you're bound up in what happens to me,” said Jessie Hubert of Erie.

For Easterling, rallying for peace is about more than just trying to stop violence, it's about inspiring change in the people around you.

"We wanna be positive examples of the community, like I say not just for my daughter I realize that I may be a role model for other people who may look up to us and what I say is, you never know who looks up to you. You never know who you may inspire, who you may touch, so by you being positive and you being an example, you may affect someone else's life,” said Easterling.

Reverend Cook says that he is planning a corporate prayer rally for September 14. Time and place are to be determined.

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