In the seventh vigil held in as many days for the victims of gun violence in Richmond, about 500 people watched a parade of lowrider cars roll down 23rd Street Sunday afternoon.
Many of the attendees participated in a large prayer circle in the street that momentarily blocked traffic along 23rd between Lowell and Rheem avenues. Owners of gorgeous lowrider cars came from as far away as Sacramento and San Jose to take part in the event.
Organized with help from Gonzalo Rucobo of the Bay Area Peacekeepers and community advocate Rodney Alamo Brown, the vigil was a demand for peace amid a spike in violence in Richmond and surrounding areas.
Since late August, five lives have been claimed in shootings in Richmond and San Pablo. The 21 homicides so far in Richmond this year equals the homicide total from all of 2015, and is nearly double the 2014 total.
Brown told attendees Sunday: “When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of residence or locale, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered.”