Silence Is Violence

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City Walks/Peace Walks digest

Date: Sat, Mar. 20, 2010

The struggle against violence is a struggle for control of New Orleans streets and neighborhoods. Who sets the feel along sidewalks and in parks? Who decides whether our children can run and play outside?

SilenceIsViolence City Walks began as a simple response to these questions: We Do. Peace-seeking families, businesses, organizations, and individuals have the right to walk through every neighborhood with confidence and comfort. On the third Thursday of each month, a different New Orleans Social Aid and Pleasure Club hosts a City Walk through the club’s home community, always with the motto WE WALK FOR PEACE. By walking together with unified confidence, the clubs send the message that these streets belong to us.

Sometimes the peace walkers sing or chant; often we carry signs; when appropriate, we stop to honor friends and loved ones whom we have lost in the area. At the end of the walk, we celebrate the mission of the social aid and pleasure clubs to honor our culture and take care of our own, symbolized by the music of brass bands, which have always worked hand-in-hand with the clubs to bring the community together when the need for collective action arises.

Tonight at 6PM, the New Orleans Social Aid and Pleasure Club Task Force will lead a City Walk/Peace Walk with a more somber tone than usual. Three years after the original SilenceIsViolence March to City Hall, we still are sending too many young people to the morgue via a culture of violence that has not abated. The leadership we asked for three years ago has not taken hold. Therefore, tonight the Social Aid and Pleassure Club Task Force will lead us from City Hall to the city’s morgue: the end result if new leadership cannot do a better job of recruiting the community to the cause of peace.

We are ready to work with strong leadership. We hope that tonight’s march will send the message to all candidates for Mayor and City Council that we expect a forceful, proactive, and imaginative new approach to turning the tide of violence, and to turning our young people’s footsteps away from the city morgue.

For the full route of tonight’s march, go to