Silence is Violence

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News & Events

SilenceIsViolence partners with many community businesses and organizations to bring uplifting and thereputic events to our community.

May 10th Weekly Update!

Date: Fri, May. 11, 2007 Hi, everyone...

1. City Walks resume! With festival season behind us, we will start
a fresh round of City Walks this Sunday evening, Mother's Day, May 13,
at 7pm. We had hoped to start this week's walk in Central City, but
it proved impossible to find a viable route to Ernie K-Doe's in the
Treme. The New Orleans Bayou Steppers Social Aid and Pleasure Club
have been planning a wonderful reception for us, featuring the
NewBirth Brass Band, so we must make it to Ernie K-Doe's by 8pm!
Therefore we will return to Sound Cafe, our home base in the
Marigny/Bywater, as the City Walk starting point once again. Here is
the entire route:

SilenceIsViolence City Walk #4, hosted by the New Orleans Bayou
Steppers Social Aid and Pleasure Club! START: Sound Cafe, 2700
Chartres St., 7pm SHARP! Walk up Chartres to Kerlerec; veer right on
Kerlerec and continue to Burgundy St. Turn LEFT onto Burgundy and
RIGHT onto Barracks St. Continue up Barracks to Marais St. Turn
RIGHT on Marais and LEFT on Kerlerec to Claiborne Ave. Turn RIGHT on
Claiborne Ave. to Ernie K-Doe's Mother-in-Law Lounge, 1500 N.
Claiborne Ave. STOP at Ernie K-Doe's.

As always, transportation will be provided from Ernie K-Doe's back to
Sound Cafe between 8 am 9pm. Also, we will be offering Silence is
Violence t-shirts at cost ($9) to anyone who joins the walk at Sound
Cafe, although you are free to dress as you like or bring your own
sign or banner.

2. Nakita and Baty had the honor of attending a press conference held
by Victims and Citizens Against Crime this Tuesday regarding the trial
of Tyrone Wells, alleged murderer of Jose Vazquez. There we met
Kimberly Share-Vazquez, the courageous young widow, who has been
consumed by this tragic case ever since her husband was murdered
outside his Gentilly restaurant in 2004. The trial has been continued
repeatedly over the past four years, including a continuance last week
that has pushed the trial date back to August. Of at least eight
continuances, all but one have been requested by the defense. The
pressure, frustration, and protracted grief this has caused Kimberly
was obvious—and as Beverly pointed out, it is hardly fair for Tyrone
Wells, whom our laws consider innocent until proven guilty but who
nonetheless has been in prison for four years while awaiting trial.

Kimberly was not present for the actual press conference, but arrived
later, and we were shocked to learn why: She had been threatened with
arrest by Judge Arthur Hunter if she were to go anywhere near the VCAC
office building on that day. She arrived later, when all the news
cameras were safely gone, visibly shaken and enraged by the attempts
to thwart the work she feels she must do in her husband's memory and
in order to seek justice for him. Judge Hunter's threat was both
unjustified and callous. We were glad and inspired to see that
Kimberly is undeterred and will continue to participate in the case in
any way she can. We will be watching this case and will inform you
if, as Kimberly fears, Judge Hunter moves to bar her from the

3. Indeed, recognition of the importance of accountability within the
law enforcement and criminal justice systems is on the rise. This
week the City Council revisited the issue of public access to crime
statistics. As more and more citizens call for clear and timely
channels of information regarding crime in our neighborhoods, the
Council is increasingly pressing the NOPD for explanations of their
own informational systems. Unfortunately, it is becoming clear that
the NOPD does not have very consistent or comprehensive informational
methods. Hopefully the new level of pressure from the Council and New
Orleans residents will inspire greater care and openness with police
records and the dessimination of data in ways that can be useful to
the public. James Carter, who as Chair of the City Council criminal
justice subcommittee has initiated many of the current discussions
with the NOPD and the District Attorney's office, was quoted in
Thursday's Times-Picayune, summing up the desires of many citizens: "I
want information provided in real-time fashion, in a user-friendly,
clear, and concise way."

Captain Kirk Bouyelas of the Second District also has demonstrated a
sensitivity to citizens' need for information through his regular
"email blasts." Residents on the Second District email blast list
receive timely reports of crimes in their immediate area from Captain
Bouyelas's office. Ask the captain in your own district to keep you
informed through some such means, and let the City Council know that
we all would like ready information about criminal activity in the
different neighborhoods of our city. With greater access to
information, we could feel more in control of our own safety.

We look forward to re-establishing our own commitment to the
neighborhoods of New Orleans this Sunday with City Walk #4. Please
join us at Sound Cafe for the 7pm departure, or at Ernie K-Doe's for
the reception at 8!