Native American community holds march for gunshot victims in Riverside – Redlands Daily Facts

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Following recent mass shootings – including those of a school in Uvalde, Texas, and a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma – the Native American community of the Inland Empire came together on Saturday 4 June for a march in memory of the victims and to call for change.

  • Suma Hareesm, Emaline Dhaliwal, Baljit Toor, Vasu Pawar and Venkat Peddi march Saturday June 4, 2022 in downtown Riverside to bring attention to the Uvalde, Texas shooting and other mass shootings. (Photo by Milka Soko, collaborating photographer)

  • A leaflet from the World Organization of People of Indian Descent...

    A leaflet from the World Organization of People of Indian Descent hangs from the statue of Gandhi in downtown Riverside on Saturday, June 4, 2022. (Photo by Milka Soko, Contributing Photographer)

  • Suma Hareesm, Emaline Dhaliwal, Vasu Pawar, Baljit Toor and Venkat...

    Suma Hareesm, Emaline Dhaliwal, Vasu Pawar, Baljit Toor and Venkat Peddi walk past a farmer’s market in downtown Riverside. Members of the Native American community in the Inland Empire held a rally on Saturday June 4, 2022 against the mass shootings. (Photo by Milka Soko, collaborating photographer)

  • Emaline Dhaliwal, a member of the Native American community of the Inland Empire,...

    Members of the Inland Empire Native American community, Emaline Dhaliwal, Baljit Toor, Suma Hareesm, Venkat Peddi, Vasu Pawar and Ashish Patel demonstrate in front of the Gandhi statue in downtown Riverside on Saturday June 4, 2022 to draw attention Watch out for Uvalde, Texas and other mass killings. (Photo by Milka Soko, collaborating photographer)

  • A leaflet from the World Indian People's Organization...

    A leaflet from the World Organization of People of Indian Descent Inland Empire chapter hangs from the Gandhi statue in downtown Riverside on Saturday, June 4, 2022. (Photo by Milka Soko, Contributing Photographer)

  • Baljit Toor and Suma Hareesm express concerns about Uvalde,...

    Baljit Toor and Suma Hareesm raise concerns about the Uvalde, Texas shooting during a protest Saturday, June 4, 2022 in downtown Riverside. (Photo by Milka Soko, collaborating photographer)

  • Members of the Native American community of the Inland Empire demonstrate Saturday...

    Members of the Inland Empire Native American community demonstrate Saturday, June 4, 2022, in downtown Riverside against mass shootings such as the Uvalde, Texas massacre. (Photo by Milka Soko, collaborating photographer)

Led by the Inland Empire Chapter of the World Organization of People of Indian Descent, they marched along the Statue Walk in downtown Riverside. Holding signs, they started with the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, who was known as a peacemaker.

Members of Native American organizations and others spoke out against gun violence and pushed for reform.

“Our main concern is that this can happen anywhere, anytime,” chapter president Venkat Peddi said ahead of the event. “We need gun control. Nowadays, you can buy a gun like you buy candy. There are no restrictions or controls, no vigilance.

The group, which has held vigils and rallies for national and global causes, is planning more rallies on the subject.

“We hope to send a clear message to our politicians and our community,” Peddi said. “We don’t want this to happen again.”

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