Residents from around Paterson gathered in 12th Avenue to observe what is being called a Peace Rally organized by Jumpstart. It was an event for the youth: on the street were teenagers and children playing football and chatting about; politicians too came out for few minutes: Aslon Goow, a 2nd ward candidates for city council, and Andre Sayegh, a would-be mayor for 2014, were there, as well as a handful of Passaic County Freeholder candidates.
The full block was closed off for the event. Food was available for free including hotdogs and popcorn and one man was eating pizza (it was possibly served); a man was firing up his griller; while others were sitting in chairs neatly placed on the sidewalk.
There was a man, a minister from one of the local churches with a Salvation Army hat, he said he was going to speak, but before the speeches could begin, after waiting almost 3 hours, we had little choice but to leave.
Most did not know what the rally was for, they knew it was a rally for peace, but when asked what does that mean, we received blanks. It was later confirmed, that the rally was to end street violence and shootings in the area, an area which suffers disproportionately: most drive-by shootings on record took place in that ward.
It is speculated that, the speeches will include few who were affected by the surging violence, and each speaker would plead for safer streets and a safer city.
Below are snapshots from the event: