New Haven-based anti-violence group holds vigil to continue outreach to Waterbury youth

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WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The New Haven-based group, Ice the Beef, is beginning to help Waterbury address violence and other health concerns among Connecticut youth.

The group is trying to get people’s attention in Waterbury to do something about youth gun violence, domestic violence, COVID-19, and the opioid crisis. To do that, they held a memorial vigil at MLK Park early Saturday evening.

RELATED: New Haven-based Ice the Beef expanding to Waterbury in effort to reduce gun violence

During the vigil, they lit candles in hopes to attract Waterbury residents and have them come up and ask what’s going on. Some people who live nearby were looking on and listening from their windows, which is a good thing for a new group looking to be heard. It’s one of the ways they hope to bring people in to help try to make a positive difference in the Brass City.

“I’m tired of seeing young people suffering picking up these guns. Change has to happen, and it’s going to happen,” said Anna Fraioli from Ice the Beef.

She said that the group can show people different ways they can stay off of a violent path.

“We have theater arts programs, we’re also going to help them find jobs, and education if they want to go to school,” Fraioli added.

There have been several recent shootings in the area near MLK Park. The police chief called it an uptick in gunplay by juveniles.

They’re already getting help from members of the Waterbury Pride NAACP Youth Council.

“We’re out here to support Ice the Beef as another community organization in our city because we believe the topic of gun violence — for youth — is definitely important especially going on in our day and age right now,” said Amari Brantley of the NAACP Youth Council.

Ice the Beef is just getting started. They’re also planning marches through neighborhoods, and they hope to catch the attention of Waterbury police, as well.

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