Local musician asks residents to 'take back the streets' of Jeannette
When a drive-by shooting disrupted the lives of several residents on North First Street in November, Chad Fetty decided it was time to do something about it.
“These heinous crimes are eating away the very core of what made our city great,” said Fetty in a letter to city council members. “There was a time when our children could run the streets until dusk and the only worries were the mischief they were causing. Those were the good times, these are the desperate times.”
Fetty, lead singer of East Coast Turnaround and Jeannette resident, asked city council to support “We are One ... A Rally for Peace,” which will start on the steps of City Hall at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
“I look around and see the people are afraid, ashamed and disgusted that this violence is the new voice of our city. Its voice is echoing loudly with every gun shot or crime that is committed on our streets. I propose we stand together and unite our voices together against this violence,” Fetty said. “That we stand as one, screaming loud enough for Sam Colt himself to hear: ‘The violence stops now and we are taking back our streets.'”
There will be guest speakers and then together, everyone in attendance will march down Clay Avenue turning left onto Fourth Street and ending at the Keynote Cafe. There, East Coast Turnaround will perform an acoustic set and other musicians will entertain as coffee and hot chocolate is provided.
Fetty talked to city council about the increase in violence and learned that, in some recent cases, criminal charges against several accused in various acts of gun violence in the city had to be dropped because witnesses wouldn't testify.
“I've been a citizen of Jeannette for 10 years,” he said. “If it takes 10 of us to go and stand in a courtroom as protection (for witnesses who feel intimidated), we can do that. I hope to God that everyone comes down here and marches down the city street together.
“You can't start a fire without a spark, let's start that fire.”
Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-838-5154.