ENGLEWOOD — With Chicago Public Schools students out for spring break next week, the Mothers Against Senseless Killings, more commonly known as the Army of Moms, plans to hit the streets.
The group formed last June after the slaying of 34-year-old Lucille Barnes in the 7500 block of South Stewart. Founder Tamar Manasseh said she hoped to stop any retaliatory violence.
For several weeks after the shooting, there were no reports of gun violence on the block where Barnes was killed.
The group has expanded since those early days, and now Manasseh has more plans for her members, including male volunteers. Members of the group now plan to be stationed in different communities between April 18-22 to help prevent gun violence.
Reporter Andrea Watson on the Army of Moms' plans for spring break.
“When kids aren’t in school and there are no Safe Passage people watching, then someone has to be out there,” said Manasseh.
She said that with the rise in violent crime over the winter it makes sense to prepare for even more violence now that the weather is warming up.
The group hopes to recruit at least 70 volunteers and plans to be on seven blocks. People have been taking to Facebook to request their help in certain areas. Some of the most requested locations include 63rd Street and King Drive and 63rd and St. Lawrence Avenue, Manasseh said.
When the group was founded, members camped out on a single corner, but next week Manasseh said she will have volunteers in Roseland, Uptown and Humboldt Park as well.
“We are the lords and ladies of the lawn chair. We don’t do marches, rallies or vigils. That’s after the fact. Our goal is to prevent violence, not spend time planning creative ways to lament it,” said Manasseh.
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