Hundreds of people took to the streets Saturday morning to march for peace and an end to the killing in East Palo Alto.
Carrying placards, chanting, and stepping to the lively Dixieland music of a church band, the march and rally culminated in Jack Farrell Park to more music and speeches from community leaders.
A recent wave of gun violence, including four homicides, sparked the idea for the march and rally, labeled "Live in Peace," according to march and rally organizer Marina Latu.
Noting that many children and teens were part of the march and rally, Latu said, "It's all about them." Two of the recent homicide victims were 13 and 17 years old.
The march, which stretched for two or three blocks, took an hour to wind about a mile through city streets, ending with a party-like rally in the park.
"The march is not an end," East Palo Alto Mayor David Woods told the crowd at the rally. "The march is a beginning."
Palo Alto Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto and some of her colleagues joined the rally after an early morning planning retreat. "We're here to stand shoulder to shoulder with you," she told the crowd, which cheered her remarks.
Police Chief Ron Davis appeared the night before on an hour-and-a-half long cable television forum, patiently answering call-in questions from dozens of residents.
The march and rally represented the community taking responsibility to try to end the violence, Davis told the crowd.