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Richmond march and rally supports 16yr old rape victim

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Do it for the Vine! Staff Member

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    Richmond march and rally supports rape victim


    John King, Chronicle Staff Writer
    Saturday, November 7, 2009




    (11-07) 14:38 PST RICHMOND -- The Richmond girl gang raped outside her high school last month received a very public show of support Saturday - a march and rally.

    Upwards of 200 people marched from Richmond High School to nearby Wendell Park, where speakers decried violence against women and what they see as the social forces that take such behavior in stride.

    "Men need to speak to other men and say, 'Stop,' " said Richard Wright, a community activist from Oakland. "Men need to stand up in this to make a cultural change, to say that rape is no longer acceptable."

    The 16-year-old victim, a sophomore at Richmond High, was sexually assaulted after leaving her homecoming dance Oct. 24. Six young men ages 15 to 21 have been charged with a variety of crimes, including rape.

    Saturday's event was organized by two San Francisco women and - judging by the responses when one speaker asked the crowd to cheer their hometowns - attended largely by people from Oakland, San Francisco and Berkeley.

    But the first speaker introduced had a strong local connection: Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, who thanked people for bringing an affirmative message of support into her community.

    "It's great to hear you raising your voices loud and clear against this horrible crime, and against the horrible crimes against women that go on all the time," McLaughlin said. "This is not about Richmond youth. This is a much larger systemic problem."

    Trailing toward the end of the march - slowed by his children, ages 1 and 4 - was Hector Salazar of Playworks, which manages recreational programs in Richmond schools.

    "You're either part of the community or you're not," Salazar said when asked why he and his wife had come from Oakland on his day off. "This was the main topic the last two weeks at the schools where I work. Kids know the victim or one of the boys arrested, or their brothers or sisters."



    E-mail John King at jking@sfchronicle.com



    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/11/07/BA501AGSQ2.DTL#ixzz0WDdIlPPb

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