Friday, January 09, 2009

Today is the SilenceIsViolence Strike Against Crime, a day to wear red, a day to mark all the senseless deaths that occurred in the past few years here and are still occurring.

But more importantly, this is a day when we finally acknowledge that what is being done with regards to hopefully eliminating crime in this city is still woefully inadequate and our efforts thus far have been piddly in their effects.

Alli says it much better than I:

I agree that we need to march. But at the end of the march, everyone goes home and Riley goes to bed and gets up again the next day. What happens after the march? What happens when we numb ourselves with routine?

We need a coalition. Black, white, Vietnamese, Hispanic, female, gay, straight, male, Catholic, Baptist, atheist, uptown, downtown, lakeside, riverside, everyone. We need everyone to come together on this one thing. Yeah, call me naive. I know how fucking difficult that is. It's New Orleans.

We need a symbol. Obama's campaign turned him into a symbol, and the symbol was meaningful because millions of people were behind it. The real power was his coalition, but the symbol was the flashpoint. We come up with a symbol and get it all around town. Behind the symbol, we have a narrow and focused statement of purpose.

And we need constant, persistent, vocal, and peaceful visibility. It starts with the march. But we end the march by saying: do x, or expect y, z, and the whole damn alphabet. Then we follow through with nonviolent direct action. We can run shifts in City Hall. We can come up with a question sheet, we can display victim's pictures and stories, we can chalk out body outlines from every unsolved murder in front of City Hall. We get a PR firm as part of the coalition. We use social and traditional media to organize it. It just needs to get rolling. And it can't end until they're out of office.

I'm open to suggestions and critiques. I want to get serious about this. It's time to clean house or we won't have houses to clean.

What will it take to get everybody together beyond the marches, the naming of names, the funeral processions, the vigils?

THAT is the question that needs to be asked today.

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