Stop the Violence rally has good turnout

A procession of hearses and other vehicles visited several areas of the city prior to arriving at Rupert Bell Park.

Stop the Violence rally has good turnout
August 19
13:41 2020

Hundreds of individuals turned out for the Stop the Violence rally at Rupert Bell Park on Sunday. The rally, which was preceded by a procession of hearses that toured parts of Winston-Salem, was organized to bring attention to the recent rise in gun violence around the city.

The rally was co-sponsored by the Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity (MCWSV) and the local Piedmont Funeral Directors. Upon arrival at Rupert Bell Park, mothers of those who have been victims of gun violence marched down Mt. Zion Place chanting “Stop the violence, save our children.”

To give more perspective to the cause, the organizers laid out an empty casket as a very tangible reminder of what is normally the end result when guns are used in a sinister manner.

The focus of the day was to attempt to not only bring awareness to the gun violence that has popped up around the city lately, but also to try and bring the community together to create more of a family atmosphere and hopefully prevent more of these senseless homicides. 

Things were kicked off Sunday afternoon by a passionate opening prayer from MCWSV President Tembila Covington, followed by impactful words from funeral directors and the mothers of the victims of gun violence.

“You don’t know the pain that goes along with it,” said Mayor Pro Tempore Denise “DD” Adams. “It doesn’t go away in a couple of weeks or three months when nobody is asking or mentioning the person’s name anymore. You carry it in your heart and your spirit, and you carry it every day until the day you die.

“Nobody can come against community when we rise up together. That’s what we did during the 50s, 60s and 70s; we can do that again, but we need your help. These mamas need your help, these children need your help.”

Adams also touched on the “no snitching” creed that many people follow for different reasons, whether it be fear from retaliation or allegiance to the perpetrator or gang. Adams pleaded with the community to start coming forward with information so the police officers can do their job by apprehending the suspect to give justice to the family members of the victims.

Winston-Salem City Councilwoman Annette Scippio also touched on the subject of violence in the community, along with the no snitching policy.

“This day is a sad time for me, because we are having to deal with an evil that has come to our community and that evil sometimes looks like me,” Scippio said of the crime she has witnessed happening around her home. “And that evil is wicked and it’s deceitful and it seduces our children and it’s targeting the weak and the poor.

“We have people in our communities that look like us that are teaching our young people to be malicious, intentional murderers. There is nothing good about that, none whatsoever. Fear not, tell what you know. I grieve for the parents who are losing their children.”

Crystal Thompson was one of the mothers who gave a testimony about her experience with gun violence. She spoke about the night she received a knock on the door and was informed her son had passed. Her words seemed to touch a cord with many people in the audience as everyone hung on each word she spoke.

“On March 24, 2014, 3:15 a.m., when I got that knock on the door, that thief had come to my house and stole some of my heart,” Thompson said about the night she was informed of her son’s death. “He killed my son and he destroyed my family and my community. 

“I am here today to take my community back and my community is Winston-Salem, North Carolina.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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