Anti-violence rally, cleanup planned for Sunday morning in York City


The second anti-violence rally in York City within a month is planned for Sunday morning.

The event, on Facebook called Bring Signs, Bring Peace, starts at Continental Square in the middle of the city at the intersection of George and Market streets at 11 a.m.

After they take a few minutes for people to assemble, the group will head north on George Street before turning east on Philadelphia Street, according to John Beck, who organized the rally along with the Punks for Positivity group.

Beck said they'll clean up a little along the way as they go -- "we'll hold our signs, we'll chant a little bit" also as they move, he said -- but the ultimate destination is the Walnut Street area several blocks to the east.

That's where they'll set up shop for a couple of hours, during which they'll work to clean the streets and public areas.

That's the norm for Punks for Positivity. They regularly schedule trash pickups such as this around the city, according to Dustin Hildebrand, one of the group's cofounders. He said they spent several weekends over the summer in the Salem Square area, where the locals were glad to have a helping hand, and plenty of kids got involved, too.

"We got a real positive response from the area," he said.

That's the aim whenever they do this in the city.

"Anywhere we can help in the city and help the city in any way," he said.

That's a similar mission to Beck and the rest of the people who previously held a "Stop the Violence" rally on Oct. 9, and now helped organize this one. Beck said their rallies try to go through some of the poorer areas of the city to give people a boost.

"The goal is just to let them know the community cares," he said.

This is especially important in areas with concentrated poverty and crime, he said.

"Everyone just feels kinda disenfranchised," said the city resident. "Everyone just feels so defeated."

He said they picked up some marchers along the way when they held a similar rally on Oct. 9, when they went around the Parkway area, stopping briefly at the spot where local resident Erik Miranda, 24, had been shot to death a couple of weeks before.

Another rally: They have scheduled another rally for Friday, Nov. 13. The plan at this point for that date is to meet up at Penn Market at the intersection of West Market and Penn streets, and then they'll go south along West King and West Princess streets, Beck said. They'll clean up trash lying around, as they plan to do Sunday.

But the funny thing is the definition of who "they" are is kind of nebulous, Beck said. He, Jarrett Myers, who was the main organizer of the Oct. 9 rally, and Ginnie Rivera are sort of the main drivers behind the rallies, but they aren't really a formal group with a name or anything like that, Beck said.

What they do have — along with matching "Stop the Violence" T-shirts — is a group of people who, at least for the time being, want to push positive change in their city, Beck said.

"I'm gonna keep doing this as long as we keep getting support," he said.

— Reach Sean Cotter at