Update: CBS Baltimore reports, that shortly after 5:00pm EST, a 24-year-old man was pronounced dead after being fatally shot in Baltimore Maryland. And for confirmation that this ceasefire has been broken, another murder reported at what would have been hour 46.
“We know that a successful ceasefire is usually preceded by a failure–
even lots of failures.” – Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies*
from Baltimore Maryland
the one & only… Txny Supreme with Way Too Often
written & edited by Kendall F. Person
Season III: The Quest for Peace ran from May through December of 2014, only 3 years ago and yet, so much has happened since, that it feels much much longer. One of the few recurring themes, and one of only two that last a full week, Our Week of Peace, designed to be an annual affair, with a full week of discussion, art, debate and a search for answers, culminating in a big peace sign parade.
There are other factors for sure, that led to the near cancellation of Our Week of Peace 2017, but they are either mute or talking points. Since the beginning of time, in every civilization, when peace is on the line or introduced into a conflict, it immediately finds itself in a fight for survival, let alone domination of any kind.
Then the next year is tougher and bleaker and Peace seems more elusive than before. So we try to convince ourselves, that we have done our part and that, peace has become archaic, relegated to the 60s and Hippies like Gary Gautier. But then the murder of a 24-year-old man in a city 3000 miles away, becomes heavy on our mind, as we ponder the reality: that his city could not save him, but dear Jesus they tried. and we are saddened and inspired.
Hour 41 – barely half past the 72 hour Baltimore Ceasefire goal – according to CBS Local, a 24-year-old man was shot and killed in Baltimore, Maryland. It is indeed a tragedy of national proportions, not only because of everything a murder represents, but because Baltimore Ceasefire has made it okay to walk a different way in trying to make their city a safer place.
“Only 20 percent of the time do ceasefires
take hold from the start. Because they outline
a roadmap for future negotiations…”*
– Professor Madhav Joshi
In truth, the people of Baltimore, were simply unable to prevent an unknown gunman, at an unknown time in an unknown location from pulling the trigger, and gunning down an unknown victim. But because they had the guts and the passion and pure ingenuity, they forced us all to think, to imagine the possibilities in building a better us and making contributions to our neighborhoods and beyond. Led by local activist Erricka Bridgeford, who attracted nearly as much attention as a Trump tweet, Baltimore Ceasefire shifted the spotlight away from US Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ perplexing threat to withhold crime-fighting federal government resources from Baltimore and 3 other cities, (go figure)*** — to a community-focused, solution-oriented, conversation about what plagues them.
“No one can negotiate for durable peace when fighting is ongoing, But we should
be reacting to the contents of the ceasefire…” – Keough School of Global Affairs
The sincerity in Baltimore Ceasefire’s straightforward slogan ‘Nobody Kill Anybody For 72 Hours’ even gave cynics reason to hope the ceasefire held. Not just for its raw honesty, but in its stereotype-busting affirmation, that they are neither comfortable nor accepting of their ‘holy-cow’ murder rate. But more importantly, when there is a void, crime fills the vacuum – that we already knew – but the content of the ceasefire effort confirmed, that leadership and creative thinking, can be found in equal parts, inside the vacuum effect too.
The Neighborhood’s 3rd Annual ‘Our Week of Peace’ begins August 21st.
*Why broken ceasefires are actually good for peace,
Public Radio International (PRI)
**The Neighborhood Anthology on Leadership & Authority
***Cities baffled why Jeff Sessions targets them on immigration,
–Shout to Keith Mon, Thank you for the photograph. So good to have you back.