PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Following a violent week, dozens of people gathered to demonstrate their stance against violence Sunday night at a peace rally.
The rally and cookout was a chance for residents to unite and enjoy the company of others in peace, while denouncing the violence that’s tearing their community apart.
“This is where I was brought up, and it’s not right what’s going on,” said Derek Hazard. “We all faced some problems, but I think the problems of today are brought to a whole other level, where these kids, they’re not safe at all.”
Both Providence Police and State Police were in attendance not to enforce the law, but rather to mingle and be part of the community.
- Tuesday night: Five people shot on March Street
- Friday morning: 27 shots fired on Carolina Avenue
- Friday night: Two people shot on Forsyth Street
Perhaps the most important message of the day was aimed at the neighborhood’s youth.
“Back in the day, we used to be able to play ball, just hang out with kids from every side of town,” said Alonzo Brooks, a youth sports coach. “That seems like it’s impossible to do now, because of all the mess that’s going on.”
- NAACP: “City has reached a crisis point”
- Councilman: Shootings not isolated to Chad Brown
- Mayoral Candidates: Plans for strengthening police
While those there said lawmakers need to pay attention and give support, there also seems to be agreement that change needs to come from within.
“It’s on us to take care of us,” said Dewayne Hackney. “And any resources or support that we get from outside, that’s complimentary. But this is on us. We’re shooting us.”
In response to the violence, the NAACP has scheduled a news conference for Monday night.