About 200 people— including Boston Archbishop Cardinal Séan O’Malley and Mayor Martin Walsh— participated in an hour-long walk through the streets of Bowdoin-Geneva on Tuesday evening. Setting off from the St. Peter’s Teen Center, the procession was a larger version of a weekly walk-though led by clergy, activists and Boston Police.
The ranks of the walk grew bigger this week in the wake of a series of deadly incidents in the city last week. It began with a prayer led by Fr. John Currie, administrator at Dorchester’s Tri-Parish, including St. Peter’s on Bowdoin Street. Along the route, walkers frequently broke ranks to greet neighbors sitting on porches or in cars.
“It encourages people to realize that we’re not alone and that a big part of the solution to the problem of violence is people having a sense of community,” Cardinal O’Malley told the Reportrer. “Coming together, looking out for each other, reporting suspicious situations, trying to encourage people to turn in their guns. It’s an important activity for the community and I’m happy whenever I can be a part of it.”
Susan Young, a former resident of the Bowdoin street neighborhood who now works at Bowdoin Street Health Center, was one of the people who led the walk with chants.
“This is our community, this is our city and no one should have to grow up in fear of violence. We should be able to live in peace and not in fear,” Young explained in between greeting passers by. “We want our kids to be able to go out and enjoy the playgrounds, to enjoy where they live or where they come from.“
Police Commissioner William Evans spoke on the impact of having a such a diverse group of community members at the walk.
“It’s powerful, it think it shows that between police, the community, religious leaders, and elected officials, we can all work together to get to the same cause and that’s peace in our city.”