Residents of the Oakwood section of Venice are planning a candlelight march through their neighborhood Friday night to protest neighborhood crime and violence.
Grant Hudson of the Oakwood Beautification Committee said the group is trying to unite residents to arise and reclaim the streets from drug dealers and gang members, though the march will not be confrontational.
Hudson said residents were reluctant to parade the streets because of fear they might be subject to violence. But as groups from other neighborhoods advised Oakwood residents of their successes, "gradually, enthusiasm was sparked," Hudson said.
The march will begin with a rally at the Oakwood Recreation Center at Broadway and 7th avenues at 7 p.m. Participants will parade through a 10-block area. City, police and religious officials are slated to lead the parade. The marchers will have special police protection, Hudson said.