Baltimore activists urge ‘stop shooting’ weekend despite historical failures

Activists in Baltimore are attempting to promote a murder-free weekend by urging criminals to ditch their guns — despite the failure of previous community ceasefires to curb violence.

Activist Erricka Bridgeford has been pushing her campaign for a violence-free weekend since May, and the idea has garnered support on social media. She and other activists are calling for a 72-hour ceasefire from Aug. 4 to Aug. 6.

“This is a city-wide call, asking Baltimore residents to celebrate life during the ceasefire,” the event’s website stated. 

“This ceasefire is the product of Baltimore residents not only being exhausted by homicides, but believing that Baltimore can have a murder-free weekend if everyone takes responsibility.”

Baltimore has been marred by violence for years. The city has seen 188 murders already this year, more than what was reported by July 2016, The Baltimore Sun reported. The number of homicides in 2017 is already on track to surpass the previous year — which would make 2017 the deadliest year in the city’s history.

But Bridgeford is hoping that doesn’t happen. More than 1,600 people have followed the event’s Facebook page. Activists even created T-shirts and flyers with their message: “Nobody kill anybody.” 

Community ceasefires, however, have historically proven to have little impact on reducing crime in cities, The Baltimore Sun reported.

For instance, Mothers of Murdered Sons, an advocate group for women who have lost children due to gun violence, attempted to stage a ceasefire during Mother’s Day weekend. But the ceasefire didn’t hold: two people were shot and killed and two others were injured by gunfire.

Bridgeford and her associates are even prepping for “in case someone gets killed during this ceasefire weekend” by promoting a fundraiser to support families of shooting victims.


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