Baltimore activist's plea: Nobody kill anybody for 72 hours

Baltimore Ceasefire begins today
Posted at 3:34 PM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 17:30:11-04

Erricka Bridgeford has been putting up posters all around Baltimore city.

On this day she stapled it on the now vacant apartment in the Rosemont community of West Baltimore where she grew up.

It was a heavy moment that hit hard for her and her mother, returning to their former home with the now pervasive message fueled by equal parts anger, sorrow and....hope.

"Only 12-15 people came to the first meeting in May. Now it's like hundreds and hundreds of people all over the city who are saying this is something that we are gonna be doing," Bridgeford said.

Bridgeford's optimism is as infectious as her message.

She started this campaign months ago.

Now, the ceasefire posters are everywhere, like bright new wallpaper sprucing up a tired urban space.

They read, “Nobody kill anybody for 72 hours.”

Bridgeford hopes from Aug 4 through 7, the ubiquitous posters at least get people to stop and think, together.

"We know about power over, but we haven’t really thought about power with one another. And so this gives people an opportunity to have power together and to think about their choices and how they react to conflict together," Bridgeford said.

It is a message resonating from city streets to City Hall.

"Thumbs up,” Mayor Catherine Pugh said when asked about the Baltimore Ceasefire Thursday. “We need to stop the violence, I am all in support. I agree with all that has been said. Violence on our streets is out of control and we need to make people feel safe in our city and I am with them."

But this message is uniquely theirs.

That was the point, it was by design; a grassroots effort Bridgeford has watched bubble up from the streets.

A success, she says, regardless of outcome.

"I don't know that nobody will get killed this weekend because there are many systemic reasons why we have this level of violence in America, not just Baltimore. This one thing can’t cure all of that. What it has done is help people understand that they have a choice and they have power and there is actually something they can do about this heartbreaking situation they see in our city," Bridgeford said.

A collective conscience to start righting a record level of wrong.