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ST. LOUIS — The moms knew it was time to march again.

About 300 people, many of them mothers, rallied and marched around and through Fairground Park in St. Louis on Saturday afternoon to draw attention to gun violence against children in St. Louis and St. Louis County.

“We don’t just want more officials, we want more opportunities,” the Rev. Traci Blackmon told the crowd, many of them carrying signs or wearing memorial T-shirts or red Moms Demand Action T-shirts. “We don’t want more restrictions, we want resources.”

Some were in a group called St. Louis Mothers in Charge, which marched in Clayton in October 2014 after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. They joined with Moms Demand Action for Saturday’s march because of the uptick in the violent deaths of children.

They made a point to go around and through the park, showing people in the neighborhood their support. People in cars honked and cheered.

Six children have died of gunshot wounds in St. Louis County this year. In St. Louis city, at least 13 children have been killed by gunfire this year, more than double the number killed last year. One of them, Jashon Johnson, 16, was shot and killed in June just blocks from the park.

Several local and state officials joined the march, including city Treasurer Tishaura Jones, Sheriff Vernon Betts, state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, and State Auditor Nicole Galloway.

They called for mothers who have lost children to violence to lead the march. Among them was Angelia Jones of St. Louis, whose son, DeAndre Kelley Jr., 18, was killed in a quadruple homicide in Glasgow Village in 2017. Among the other victims was Terrence Dehart, 10.

Jones said she continues to suffer from anxiety, high blood pressure and insomnia. The man charged in the crimes will go to trial next year.

“If there are any parents who are looking for closure, guess what? There is no such thing as justice,” she told the crowd. “Because at the end of the day, when that gavel comes down, we still don’t have our babies.”

For more information about St. Louis Mothers in Charge, or to connect to resources in the area, visit www.mothersincharge.org

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