Policing

Coalition marches on Nonviolence Institute to demand an end to close cooperation with police

On Friday, organizers and members of the various organizations making the above demand marched from the offices of DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality) on Lockwood Street to the Nonviolence Institute on Oxford Street to speak out “about the impact of policing on our youth and our community. We are calling for redistribution of funds to support legal and medical fees for youth impacted by the shootings, and for investment in housing, healthcare, economic opportunity, education, and supports for youth.”
Photo for Coalition marches on Nonviolence Institute to demand an end to close cooperation with police

Published on June 19, 2021
By Steve Ahlquist and Will James

Earlier this week a coalition of neighborhood organizations and individuals, including four state senators, signed onto a letter demanding that the Nonviolence Institute discontinue they close collaboration with the Providence police department and distribute a recent $500k grant from the Rhode Island Foundation, Brown University and the Partnership for Rhode Island to the youth and their families most impacted by violence.

See: An Open Letter to the Nonviolence Institute:

We are community members and organizations writing to ask that you distribute the $500,000 in funding you were awarded by Rhode Island Foundation and Brown University directly to the families and young people who have been impacted by the shootings in our cities,” opens the letter. “Our youth are in need of community support and funds to pay medical and legal expenses – yet it is you who is receiving money. All but one who were injured in the Carolina Ave shooting are between the ages of 17-23. We cannot allow them to go through a life in prison, the streets, death in their twenties. These youth are struggling to move forward and their families have received no financial or emotional support from the Institute since their children left the hospital.”

On Friday, organizers and members of the various organizations making the above demand marched from the offices of DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality) on Lockwood Street to the Nonviolence Institute on Oxford Street to speak out “about the impact of policing on our youth and our community. We are calling for redistribution of funds to support legal and medical fees for youth impacted by the shootings, and for investment in housing, healthcare, economic opportunity, education, and supports for youth.”

When the march arrived, Cedric Huntley, Executive Director of the Nonviolence Institute, was outside, as was much of the staff, including street workers, who work directly with communities and community members impacted by violence. The atmosphere was at times testy and angry, but also respectful as those who marched to confront the Institute delivered speeches to those on both sides.

Will James has the livestream:

Here’s video of the march from DARE to the Nonviolence Institute:

Joe Benton, who acted as the emcee, is a minister, musician and DARE Behind the Walls member:

Devon Pinkus is a former employee of the Nonviolence Institute:

Melaine Ferdinand-King is a graduate student at Brown University:

Terri Wright, an organizer with DARE:

Angelo Adams, is a former Senior Streetworker at the Nonviolence Institute:

Deborah Harris, a community organizer at DARE:

Douglas Rogers is an organizer with the DARE Behind the Walls Committee:

Michy Brand, with the Providence Student Union:

Jayson Rodriguez with the Providence Student Union:

Joe Benton:

Jayson Rodriguez:

Gemelya Barros, whose daughter Shemeeka was killed in 2012:

The event wraps up:

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