Tuesday, September 30, 2014

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The Berkshires

SNUG holds anti-violence rally

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Albany/HV: SNUG holds anti-violence rally
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A local anti-gun violence group shouts its plea for peace from the street corner. As our Erin Vannella reports, the group's actions do speak louder than words.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- “Three of the young people that recently got killed, all three of them were under 21, so as a mother, I can feel the mother’s pain and I want to stop the violence before it gets in my household,” said Albany resident Ernestine Terrell.

Determined to save a life, SNUG shouts for peace from a street corner that was a crime scene only days before

Terrell said, “It's worthy to be out here in the rain to bring awareness to people that if we don't help stop the violence, then we really can't complain.”

The group calls Wednesday's rally a shooting response, mobilizing to give a voice to people who care. But they're not all talk.

“Anytime someone is shot, we actually respond to the shooting. We try to intervene and interrupt violence to stop retaliations. We usually talk to the victim and if there's an issue, we can actually deal with them. We get ourselves involved,” SNUG Program Director Rahiem Jones said.

But by preventing retaliation, SNUG success is tough to track. Still, long time community leaders insist no news is good news. And a decrease in urban crime is proof of progress

“They're trustworthy. People in the community trust them. So they might be willing to talk to them, but they wouldn't be willing to talk to me because they don't know me,” Albany Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin said.

They have a unique relationship with the community, one SNUG members say assigns them a responsibility to help stop violence before it starts.

“So I will be out here in the rain, in the snow, if it means saving one life,” Terrell said.

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