Linked arm-in-arm and trailed by a hundred people, the family of Kendall Merriweather marched solemnly yesterday to the site of the 17-year-old's slaying last month to pay tribute to all young people who have become victims of the inner city -- and to reclaim their neighborhood.

"We're going to save our children from this violence; we're going to stop it," proclaimed Kendall's mother Barbara as she fought back tears while leading the march down Alabama Avenue SE with her husband Michael.

Barbara Merriweather began a organization called Citizens Redirecting Youth (CRY) after her son was gunned down Dec. 11 in a dispute over a boom box radio. With the help of the 7th police district advisory council, CRY took its message to the streets for the first time yesterday during an evening candlelight vigil.

"We're no longer willing to give our community away to the drug dealers," said Harry Boomer of WBZE radio, who introduced a series of speakers. "They {the dealers} came and took it from us and we have to take it back. We have to mobilize everyone to reclaim it."

Yesterday's mobilization included several D.C. Council members,, clergymen, a school board member and as many as 100 concerned parents, many with children in tow.

The group gathered at Rehobeth Baptist Church, 621 Alabama Ave. SE, to listen to community leaders proclaim support for Barbara Merriweather's efforts to "teach children to respect and value life."

"We may be the missing link to join with what police are doing," said the Rev. Ernest Gibson, one of the many speakers who joined the march. "Those who perpetrate violence, those who push drugs will not be comfortable anymore on our streets."

After listening to several speakers, the group marched in the darkness toward 13th and Raleigh streets SE, where Kendall Merriweather was gunned down by two youths who were trying to steal his radio. Rodney Prophet of 528 Oakwood St. SE and Jarrell Warren of 508 Newcom St. SE, both 17, were charged as adults with felony murder in the case.

At the site, the group laid a wreath and lit candles in remembrance of Kendall's death. "This is not easy for me and my family," Barbara Merriweather said before the march began. "What we are doing is for all the families. We all have to stick together."

After placing the wreath, the group went back up Alabama Avenue to Malcolm X School, in an area known to be an open drug market. "We will stick together and we will make a better place for our youth to live," Merriweather said.