Silence is Violence

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Date: Wed, Jan. 26, 2011

Four years ago, during the March For Survival that launched the SilenceIsViolence movement, we walked together by the thousands through downtown New Orleans—awash in grief and fear, baffled by violence that New Orleanians were inflicting upon one another, and furious that our city leadership seemed powerless and apathetic in the face of our suffering.

Since that day, we have walked through our city streets dozens of times, carrying with us energy of that first march, and the unity and determination we felt as a community that day. We have walked not with thousands—but with hundreds, or dozens, or sometimes with just a few of us. No matter the numbers, our purpose and our message have been the same: If we want to see peace in our streets, then we must claim those streets for peace ourselves. We must demand and actively spread peace in our own communities.

We call these our Peace Walks. We have been walking for peace every month, and sometimes several times a month, since early 2007. SilenceIsViolence is not the only group that takes to the streets for peace: Many neighborhood groups organize their own walks; youth and church groups regularly mobilize outdoors in their communities; and in recent months, the New Orleans Police Department has begun to organize community walks, heeding calls for closer and more active engagement with residents across the city.

This evening we will walk through the Pigeon Town (originally Pension Town) neighborhood, led by the Pigeon Town Steppers Social Aid and Pleasure Club. Please meet us at the corner of Leonidas and Claiborne at 6PM for the beginning of the walk. At the same time, the NOPD will be walking through different neighborhoods across town; call your district headquarters for details.

No one community action or program will solve the violence that plagues us. But every one of us who stands in the streets for peace is a personal counter to those who threaten our streets with violence. Please join us this evening, and over the next three days, as we build a peaceful presence during Peace Walks, Friday’s Peace March, and our Community Picnic in Gentilly on Saturday. For the full schedule for Strike Against Crime week, go to


START: Harrell Park, Leonidas at Claiborne