Hip Hop Peace Rally 2011: ‘The Day Camden Spoke’




I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.
-Mohandas Gandhi

Recently, Forbes published an article listing the most dangerous cities across the nation. Camden, NJ came in 2nd. So it makes you wonder why earlier this year the Mayor announced the lay-offs of nearly half of the entire police department, not to mention a third of the city’s firefighters. Shouldn’t they be adding police instead of taking them away? Sounds backwards as heck to me! What about you?

All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do.
-Leo Tolstoy

Local Artists such as Hamillionz, Port a Rich, and many more came together for a Peace Rally to show their support for the end of violence. Yesterday, after a store owner and father of five was gunned down in his own store the City Council President of Camden, New Jersey has called on the mayor to declare a state of emergency in the city.

So who do the residents of Camden speak, rally, cry out to when they want to be heard? Their recent court cases do not reflect the crime of just residents, yet again, police officers were charged with corruption in a town already known for being run by dirty politics. Latest case ended in a  mixed verdict from a federal jury in Camden, which convicted one Camden police officer earlier this week and acquitted a second in a monthlong corruption trial.

You hear that noise in the background? That’s the sound of a woman who just lost her own son  yesterday. This is what you do, this is what you do to families.

-Hamillionz

Apparently going to ‘officials’ will not always lead to desired goals so the residents are taking it upon themselves to get their city together. The Peace Rally 2011 was in front of City Hall in Camden. Though it was formed on short notice, residents and others, came together to ask for ‘Help’. “We don’t want any handouts, we just want help for what we are already trying to do, and that’s create a movement of non-violence”.

I encourage those who want to turn the other way to understand the complexity of this situation. Many Camden Residents are not criminal. But residents are a product of their environment. We as the public need to teach each other different routes to take when it feels like the options are minimal. And that’s where these artists have stepped forward, as a formed foundation of support to others and the public with intentions of stopping the violence that has spread across the city over the years. We are sure there will be more to come as the city moves forward with it’s plans of continually cutting hours for police officers, the current budget crisis, and corrupt government.

We at MusikReform would like to thank the Artists who have formed the 2011 Peace Rally and encourage the gathering of more. You do not need to live in the city to be affected by the woes of our neighbors.

‘And suddenly, like light in darkness, the real truth broke in upon me; the simple fact of Man, which I had forgotten, which had lain deep buried and out of sight; the idea of community, of unity.’
-Ernst Toller



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