Building on last year’s momentum, the third Baltimore Ceasefire, held this past weekend, was a resounding success, with zero killings around the city for 72 hours and good vibes at a slew of neighborhood events held around the city.
“It was a really good feeling,” Erricka Bridgeford told Baltimore Fishbowl Monday morning. “Every single time somebody is killed in Baltimore, I go to the murder location to make it sacred ground. To know that the whole weekend went with nobody’s family getting that phone call, nobody’s loved ones planning funerals, it’s a really awesome feeling.”
The three-day period included 27 events in all, Bridgeford said, ranging from a day of youth basketball games at Overlea High School to a dinner-and-a-movie special at EMP Collective, to a human chain and organized prayer gathering at Edmondson Avenue and Hilton Parkway in Southwest Baltimore (with participants weathering some bitterly cold rain, no less).
The first Ceasefire weekend was held in August 2017, with a simple but distinct motto of “Nobody Kill Anybody.” Since its inception, organizers have been holding public meetings throughout the city to crowdsource ideas that will push city residents to put down their guns.
Bridgeford, a trained mediator, said more people attended the public meetings ahead of the February Ceasefire than in the past, and participants made fervent efforts to spread the word.
Neighborhoods and organizations collaborated, with stellar results. For an example, Bridgeford pointed to a community resource fair that was designed mostly to feed attendees, but wound up with organizations offering them jobs, an unexpected outcome.
“People really followed through,” Bridgeford said.
The first Ceasefire weekend ended with six shootings in total, two of them fatal, while the second one in November 2017 tallied one homicide and two non-fatal shootings. This past weekend, in contrast, ended with zero murders and one gunshot victim who suffered a graze wound to his buttocks, according to police.
It was a rewarding feeling, particularly looking at the average of around two murders per weekend so far in 2018 (and 27 so far on the year), Bridgeford said.
“Losing one life impacts so many people,” she said. “To know that so many people just don’t have that pain because they didn’t have to experience that this weekend, it’s just wonderful.”
Click here to keep track of upcoming meetings and events leading up to the next planned Baltimore Ceasefire weekend in May. Public meetings are already scheduled for Feb. 27, and every Tuesday in March.
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