As homicides mount, Baltimore residents are again calling for a weekend without violence. The second 72-hour-long Baltimore Ceasefire is scheduled Friday through Sunday, with events planned around the city each day in an effort to curb the city’s rising number of homicides as it nears 300, the Baltimore Sun reports. “We’re doing ceasefires quarterly because we saw what the first one did, how much hope it gave the city,” said Erricka Bridgeford, one of the event’s founders. The first ceasefire was held in August after 188 people had been killed, and included marches, cookouts and vigils across the city, and two men were killed. On Mother’s Day weekend, the group Mothers of Murdered Sons and Daughters called for a ceasefire, but at least four people were shot, including two who were killed.
Despite the continued violence during the August ceasefire weekend, Bridgeford said she and others are undeterred as more residents feel empowered to do something about the violence. “People are more aware about their own response to murder. It makes them think what is one, even small thing I should be doing to make my city a better place,” she said. Since the last event in August, volunteers have passed out 20,000 fliers and displayed 2,000 posters. But more important than sharing information about the ceasefire weekend, she said the conversations are avenues for volunteers to provide outreach. They are sharing resources and having conversations about the root of the violence, she said. As the conversations occur, she said people are beginning to realize the problem does have solutions.