Policing

Locking Arms for Peace returns in response to recent gun violence

“We’ve experienced a lot of violence in these past couple of weeks,” said Garlington, speaking about a rash of shootings in Providence and Pawtucket. In addition to honoring her daughter, Garlington also wanted to “bring some sort o solace to the community, to the families that are hurting right now due to the loss of their loved ones.”
Photo for Locking Arms for Peace returns in response to recent gun violence

Published on May 23, 2021
By Steve Ahlquist

Around fifty people gathered at 891 Broad Street on Saturday to stand against gun violence as part of Diana Garlington’s Lock Arms for Peace initiative. Garlington started Lock Arms for peace in 2013 in reaction to the murder of her 21-year-old daughter, Essence, in 2011. The location of the first Lock Arms for Peace event was the same place Garlington gathered people on Saturday – where her daughter was shot while sitting in. car. The crime remains unsolved.

“We’ve experienced a lot of violence in these past couple of weeks,” said Garlington, speaking about a rash of shootings in Providence and Pawtucket. In addition to honoring her daughter, Garlington also wanted to “bring some sort o solace to the community, to the families that are hurting right now due to the loss of their loved ones.” Garlington is the Survivor Fellow and Survivor Member lead for the Rhode Island Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

After some brief words from Becky on behalf of the Nonviolence Institute, the people gathered to lock arms in contemplative silence or quiet conversation.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza attended the event, and was invited by Garlington to say a few words.

“This part of the solution,” said Mayor Elorza. “Literally us coming together – that’s what’s going to get us through this and that’s what’s going to get us through anything… I’m confident that as terrible as the darkness of the past week has been, out of the darkness comes light and better days are ahead.”

“We have to grow this,” said Cedric Huntley of the Nonviolence Institute. “Because it is moments like this – we stand in silence, but we stand together. And that’s what the community needs to see – that we’re all standing together, working together, collaborating together to address the issues that are pervasive in our communities…”

Mayor Elorza and Diana Garlington speak to reporters:

Also attending the event were Providence mayoral candidates Gonsalvo Cuervo and Brett Smiley. UpriseRI asked each candidate if they think our present models of policing are working in Providence.

See also:
Moms Demand Action
Senator Bridget Valverde (District 35, North Kingstown, Narragansett) (2nd from right)

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