‘Peace Up, Guns Down’ rally held in New Orleans to support youth programs

Published: Jun. 11, 2022 at 9:26 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Community members gathered Saturday promising not to give up on peace and New Orleans’ youth as crime and violence continue to impact families nationally and locally.

The “Peace Up, Guns Down” parade and rally flooded the Treme neighborhood with speeches, prayers, and music.

“We need to act like all the youth of the city are our own children,” organizer Red Devitt says.

Devitt says the event has been in the works for months after several instances of violence claimed young lives in New Orleans. She says their message is needed more than ever.

“We know that everyone nationally is waking up again to the horrific public mass shootings that have happened in Uvalde and Buffalo. There’s a lot of things we need to do. We need gun safety regulations. We also need people to know there are youth organizations, there are mental health organizations, and we need to invest in them,” Devitt says.

Councilman Freddy King, who represents the Treme district, says focusing on the youth is paramount to turning things around.

“Children are getting in trouble at an earlier age, so, we all need to do our part to make sure they get involved in the right things earlier,” King says.

King encourages parents to take advantage of various opportunities available during the summer months while kids are out of school.

NORD has hundreds of open spots for their summer camps.

“Right now you can be a lifeguard if you’re 16 years of older. They’ll teach you how to swim and pay you $20 an hour,” he says. “There are a lot of things to do. I know sometimes it feels like there’s not, but get in touch with your elected official. Get in touch with your council members. Get in touch with me. We’ll find something for your children.”

“Find out about the organizations that are working with the youth this summer. We know crime tends to go up in the summer, so who...which organization are you going to support this summer?” Devitt asked.

You can find more about Devitt’s group “Moms Deman Action” by texting “ACT” to 64433.

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