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After deadly July, Baltimore’s Ceasefire weekend to feature memorial service, peace walk

Activist Erricka Bridgeford of Baltimore Ceasefire places a poster on a wall as members of the group participate in a "sacred space" ritual near where a person was recently murdered on July 28, 2019.
Activist Erricka Bridgeford of Baltimore Ceasefire places a poster on a wall as members of the group participate in a "sacred space" ritual near where a person was recently murdered on July 28, 2019.(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

After the city’s deadliest month in more than two years, organizers of Baltimore Ceasefire are planning 72 hours of activities in a call to halt the violence this weekend.

The organizers planned a number of events, starting Friday, ranging from a memorial for victims’ family members to a peace walk to pray for Baltimore’s neighborhoods.

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Led by Erricka Bridgeford, the Ceasefire weekends have been held quarterly since their launch in August 2017 as a response to Baltimore’s increasing gun violence.

“Baltimore is a place that stands up for itself,” Bridgeford said. “The fact that we call a ceasefire every three months because we deserve it is proof that we stand up for ourselves.”

This weekend’s event comes after 38 people killed in the city in July, making it the deadliest month Baltimore has seen since May 2017, when there also were 38 homicides. During the last weekend in July six people were killed.

Bridgeford said she is usually nervous before ceasefire weekends, worrying that people haven’t heard about the call for peace.

One day she hopes the quarterly event will be recognized as automatically as holidays like Halloween or Christmas, she said.

The 38 homicides Baltimore recorded in July were the most in a single calendar month in the city since May 2017 and tied for the third most in a month since the unrest of April 2015.
The 38 homicides Baltimore recorded in July were the most in a single calendar month in the city since May 2017 and tied for the third most in a month since the unrest of April 2015.

Events began at 10 a.m. Friday morning, with a planned “Celebration of Life” memorial service in the Park Heights community for families who have lost loved ones in the area.

Bridgeford planned to give the opening remarks to start a rally at Lord Baltimore Hotel at 5:30 p.m. before some churches lead peace walks around the city.

The group also plans several family events, such as the 29th Street Hoops 3-on-3 basketball tournament at Barclay Elementary Middle School at 10 a.m. Saturday and the Reservoir Hill Resource Fair and Music Festival at German Park at 11 a.m. Saturday.

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For more information, go to baltimoreceasefire.com/calendar.

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