Hundreds of community activists and political leaders rallied Sunday against violence on city streets.

The march against violence, which was sponsored by National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, came in response to several recent crimes in New Haven, including five murders in January. In the first six months of 2000, there were 10 murders.

“I want to find out where these guns are coming from,” said Scot X. Esdaile, president of the Greater New Haven chapter of the NAACP. “I want to start knocking door to door, reaching out to people to find out how our babies are getting these guns.”

The afternoon march, which began near Science Park in the Newhallville neighborhood, ended with a prayer service at Immanuel Baptist Church on Chapel Street.

Young people who participated in the march received free membership to the civil rights organization.

“I hope we have more marches to get people’s attention that we need to the violence and crime in schools,” march participant Peter Quinn said.

— Associated Press