INDIANAPOLIS — Local activists are calling on the community to put down the guns this weekend, they’re advocating for a 72-hour ceasefire.
They started their push at 12:01 Friday morning at Monument Circle downtown Indianapolis with prayer and vigil for those who have already lost their lives in the city’s deadliest year of gunfire to date.
“Father, we need you and we need you now; We ask that you keep a loving arm around everyone… keep them from all hurt, harm or danger,” Co Organizer of the 72-hour ceasefire Della Brown said. “So for me, I just like to starting with a prayer and ending with a prayer – so we’re starting here now.”
The first minute of the ceasefire began with prayer but was quickly interrupted by sirens blaring in the distance.
Della Brown who alongside Ron Gee, organized the ceasefire push after personal experiences prompter the pair to act.
“God woke me up in the middle of the night and said ‘ceasefire 72 hour ceasefire’ and since historically crime is always up during the holiday seasons we went with that this Halloween weekend,” Brown said. “I lost my brother to gun violence and Ron himself was shot so this is personal… every time I see it, every time I read about it, it literally breaks my heart which is why I wanted to organize this ceasefire for sure.”
Some 14 hours later Friday afternoon Browns interrupted by noise once again…
Horns of cars passing along North Sherman Drive near East 25th Street honk in approval of the signs she and Ron Gee hold advocating for the ceasefire.
It’s a show of support they need.
“It’s very important to get this message out to as many people that we can, the people in those cars, they’ll be able to get it to their friends and family because of course cause we can only reach a certain amount of people just the two of us,” Brown said. “We all have a part in this. So it’s super important that we all get involved, we all take accountability of ourselves first and then we all get out here and do what it is that we can do to help reduce the violence in our communities.”
Community participation and buy in will be crucial if the city is to achieve a 72-hour ceasefire this weekend according to Rev. Charles Harrison, Senior Pastor of Barnes United Methodist Church. Harrison has led successful violence reduction campaigns as well.
“You have to allow neighborhoods to drive the strategies. We ought to all applaud this and be encouraged by what we see happening this weekend,” Rev. Harrison said. “I think this a start and I don’t think if it does not end up in having a weekend where we don’t have any violence… should deter anyone, it is a start. And it is a good start.”
Here’s a list of the events planned throughout the weekend:
Saturday, Oct. 30th
- 42nd Street and Post Road: clean up event, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.; peace rally and BBQ, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
- 34th Street and Illinois Street: 1 p.m., peace rally
- 25th Street and Sherman Drive: peace rally, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
If it rains on Saturday, some events will be moved to Sunday, Oct. 31st.
Sunday, Oct. 31st
- 25th Street and Hillside Avenue: clean up event, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., peace rally at 1 p.m.
- 30th Street and Moller Road: peace rally, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
- JTV Hill Center: teen boys basketball tournament, 9 a.m.
For updates and more on events happening throughout the weekend, visit the Cease Fire Indy Facebook page.