Silence Is Violence

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Strike Against Crime Thanks!

Date: Tue, Jan. 13, 2009

January 12, 2009

Hi, everyone—

We want to thank all of you, the entire city, for your beautiful outpouring of compassion and community activism last Friday.  Our “Strike Against Crime” was manifested in positive, pro-active efforts all around New Orleans.  We particularly want to thank the following individuals, businesses, and groups who really put their heart and souls into answering our call for a pledge of peace in our city:

The Social Aid and Pleasure Club Task Force organized a heart-wrenching vigil for two-year-old homicide victim Ja’Shawn Powell and announced their adoption of Van McMurray Park, whicb the clubs will work to improve and make safer for neighborhood children.

We heard from schools around the city whose students wore red, held anti-violence discussions, and found ways to participate in the Strike Against Crime, including Good Shepherd, Science and Math Charter, McGehee’s, and Sacred Heart.  If your school participated, please send photos for us to include on our website!

United For Peace in New Orleans held a nine and a half hour silent vigil for all victims of homicide in our city since Hurricane Katrina.  The number of victims memorialized was 580—a shocking number to lose in such a tragic way.

Soccer in the Streets was one of the first groups to answer our call for action, organizing a Match for Peace on Friday afternoon.  The group works with young people each Sunday afternoon in Washington Square Park.

Babs Johnson and neighborhood volunteers organized a Youth Resources Fair in Lyons Playground, with volunteer participation by the Contemporary Arts Center, the New Orleans Fire Department, the Louisiana Children’s Museum, and YA/YA, and with food donated by Café Reconcile and Breaux Mart.

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro joined us both on the steps of City Hall and in Central City.  The DA spoke movingly of his desire to not merely punish criminals, but also pursue policies and programs that keep our citizens out of the criminal justice system in the first place.

Councilmembers Arnie Fielkow and James Carter joined our noon memorial at City Hall and continue to show their interest in hearing the community’s ideas about making the city safer. Councilman Fielkow also attended the Soccer in the Streets “Match for Peace.”

Christopher Porche-West opened his Bywater studio for a Peace Soiree on Friday evening and pledged to extend a 5% contribution to local anti-violence organizations throughout the month of January.

Kate Beck opened her Shibori studio in the Marigny to youth interested in learning fabic arts.

Landis Construction Company sponsored and led a neighborhood watch signage campaign throughout the Northwest Carrollton area, where their new offices are.

Finally, Pastor John Raphael of New Hope Baptist Church continues to serve as our mentor and inspiration.  Pastor Raphael delayed a trip in order to remain in town this weekend to support the family of Ja’Shawn Powell, and he led us in prayer at our Friday evening vigil for Ja’Shawn.

And the following businesses pledged 5% of their sales on Friday to community-led public safety and social justice efforts.  THANK YOU!

Antenna

Ele Shoes

Slim Goodie’s

Maple Street Bookshop

Faubourg Art and Books

Sound Cafe

The Orange Couch

Beth’s Books

Henry’s Donuts

Road Kill

Tomato

The Joint

Gallery Porche-West

Fun Rock’n

Louisiana Music Factory

The Wine Seller

Orient Expressed

Spring Boutique

Wild Lotus Yoga Studio

AH-HA

Pack Rat Shipping

Kate Beck Shibori

Canine Connection

Canine Culture

Zeus' Place

Lost Sheep Coffee Company at The Savvy Gourmet

d.b.a.

Neophobia

Petcetera

Quiznos-337 Baronne

Gerken’s Bike Shop


One day is not enough.  But Friday, January 9 sent a powerful and empowering message of solidarity across all communities of New Orleans—a solidarity we must continue to draw upon if we are to heal our city and create an environment of safety and respect.  Please keep in touch with us over the coming year with your ideas and your community-led public safety efforts.