Philadelphia activists call for cease-fire in response to rising violence

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A peace motorcade weaved through South Philadelphia on Thursday night calling for a cease-fire as violence rages out of control in the city.

"This coming August there's been a call for a cease-fire," said Rickey Duncan from New Options More Opportunities.

Activists from a myriad of community groups drove through neighborhood blocks riddled by violence; stopping at certain intersections along the 3.5-mile route to speak with residents and pass out masks.

"This route is very important because it symbolizes some of the hot areas throughout South Philly where shootings and homicides have occurred," said Ra-Sean Beyah from Men United for a Better Philadelphia.

One of those shootings includes 24th and Reed streets where a 52-year-old woman was hit with a stray bullet that flew through her second-story bedroom at the beginning of the summer.

Murders are up 32% in the city from this time last year, already eclipsing 2013's total and on pace to surpass the total number of homicides for 2014.

"We also pass out this card with 10 things people can do to reduce violence in Philadelphia," said Bilal Qayyum of the Father's Day Rally Committee.

"I think it's a start, there should be additional things. Handing out pieces of paper, in about two minutes you'll see them on the ground," said Sylvia Wilkins.

Some residents are calling for more officer foot patrols on their blocks, others are admitting the call to action starts with them.

Activists have been doing this motorcade, calling for peace every Thursday since the violent Fourth of July weekend in Philadelphia. Next week, they will travel through the southwest section of the city.
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