Pa. march against injustice and gun violence hopes to pave the way for more reform

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Thursday, a march against injustice and gun violence — organizers are hoping their event leads to more reform.

In the wake of protests after the death of George Floyd, hundreds of people showed up to last year’s event.

Organizers aren’t sure how many people will show up this year but hope to keep the conversation going and educate about the issues affecting the community.

“It is a way to show that it is not just a magical gesture that hey we need police reform,” said Ralph Rodriguez, All You Can Inc. “If it is done right and with the best intent anything is possible.”

“And I really strongly believe that the only way we can make a difference is if more people come out and support the cause,” All you Can Supporter Angelia Whiting said. “If these young men care for anything about their lives, then they would put the guns down and pick up a book because you will go farther if you will educate your mind than letting the streets educate you.”

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse and Police Commissioner Thomas Carter joined protestors — as did Governor Tom Wolf.

He got a lot of push back for attending, violating his own COVID-19 orders by marching side by side with protestors.

Despite the controversy, organizers say the event did spark change.

The governor signed two police reform bills into law about a month after the march.  But with the conviction of the officer who killed Floyd, “fortunately we’re in a place where a lot has happened and we’ve healed a lot of wounds,” said Rodriguez. “We are in a place where a has happened. We have seen some progress happened. I think just keep your hand on the pulse and keeping the conversation going.” 

“I think it’s really important that people are taking a stand and making a commitment to change the City of Harrisburg,” Executive Director of the Neighborhood Center at United Methodist Church Gary Fallings said.

The march starts at the capitol at 9:30 and will end at the United Methodist Church Community Center on third street. 

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