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Harrisburg gun violence and social justice march calls for community involvement

The march commemorated the three-year anniversary of the historic signings of two police reform bills.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A march against social injustice and gun violence was held in Harrisburg on Friday on the Capitol steps.

The march commemorates the three year anniversary of the historic signing of two police reform bills into law: 

  • House Bill 1841, which established stronger background checks for new officers
  • House Bill 1910, which requires mental health evaluations with the focus on post-traumatic stress disorder

Ralph Rodriguez, organizer and founder of All You Can Inc. says the march held today is only part of the story.

“We believe marches are only 10% of the work," Rodriguez said.

"Once we’re gone there has to be someone to lead the charge - so why not teach the youth and commemorate this historical moment every year.”

The youth education and outreach component, Gary Fallings, founder of 'Be A Man,' he believes is the best way to stop the cycle of violence in the city.

“We have children dying on the streets," Fallings explained.

"So the message we want to send to our children is simple – the 'I' over the 'E' – exercise intelligence over emotion.”

That message, Rodriguez says, he hopes will be heard loud & clear today.

“It’s up to non-profit organizations and community leaders to provide that education...without that we’ll have another generation that’s lost."

However, he says, "I'm optimistic because of all the other great organizations in the city working and doing a phenomenal job."

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