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After gang rape, Richmond students come together for healing
by via PWW
Thursday Nov 5th, 2009 6:23 AM
Wednesday, November 4, 2009 : RICHMOND, Calif. - The white streamers were everywhere - worn as armbands, headbands, neckties, leg-bands - as hundreds of Richmond High School students gathered on the football field with teachers, parents and community members to express their support for the victim of a horrendous gang rape on the school grounds and their determination to act together to prevent future violence.
Elected officials and school system leaders shared the platform with anti-violence advocates and many youth and student musical and spoken-word performers at the Nov. 3 after-school "community healing event." Speakers emphasized building a culture that rejects racist and sexist actions and comments and fights back against the underlying social conditions in which such attitudes flourish.

"Violence against women knows no city boundaries, no school boundaries," Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin told the crowd. "We have a society that still has a strong component of sexism, of racism. Poverty is growing in our country. We need to face these social injustices and turn them around, and we need our youth right there leading the way, speaking truth to power." Then there will be no passive bystanders, McLaughlin added, "because they will be facing the injustices of our systemic environment on a daily basis, not just when an acute problem comes up."

School board member Antonio Medrano drew on the history of U.S. social protest as he urged everyone to emulate civil rights heroes like Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Cesar Chavez in their struggles for justice and equality.

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