Still, Ceasefire organizer Letrice Gant said Sunday that the weekend was filled with life-affirming moments. The movement, she said, spurred copycat events across the city coordinated by groups unaffiliated with Ceasefire officials.
About a dozen people joined in a prayer walk through neighborhoods in West Baltimore on Saturday morning to commemorate victims of gun violence during Baltimore's first Ceasefire weekend of the year. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun video)
“It is a community-centered self-determination movement,” Gant said. “People are deciding to change what they can.”
Gant and other Ceasefire members visited the sites where the two men were fatally shot Friday and Saturday. Before a vigil with a victim’s family members at one of the sites, Gant burned sage and made sure the man’s blood was washed away before anyone arrived, she said.
“People who think Ceasefire is just three days of nonviolence, they don’t understand the depth of our relationship with the community,” Gant said. “The fact is we believe that a person’s life matters.”
At the Ceasefire’s closing ceremony Sunday at Motor House arts space in Charles North, Gant looked over an exhibit of artwork by local students denouncing gun violence.
One piece said, “Nonviolence is the weapon of the strong.” Another illustration depicted a white dove with a gunshot wound on its breast.
Several of the pieces were critical of the Police Department’s role in controlling the city’s gun violence. Police Commissioner nominee Michael Harrison is looking to address Baltimore’s persistently high murder rate.
Gant said she respects the city’s efforts to install a successful commissioner, but is staying laser-focused on the streets.
She says she tries not to listen to criticisms that the Ceasefire weekend ended with two fatal shootings.