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Scores of people gathered at 98th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard on Sunday afternoon to participate in a two-and-a-half-mile peace parade through some of the East Oakland neighborhoods hit hardest by gun violence. The action, which was co-hosted by Adamika Village and the Oakland Violence Prevention Coalition, was organized in response to an increase in violent crime this year in Oakland.
As of Sunday, at least 83 people had been killed this year in the city, more than a 34% increase over last year at this time. And as of October 25, the combined number of homicides and non-lethal firearm assaults reported by the Oakland Police Department in 2020 stood at 466, 32% above the city’s three-year average. A majority of the gun violence in Oakland has occurred in Black and brown neighborhoods in East Oakland.
Oaklandside contributor Harvey Castro was on hand to photograph Sunday’s parade, where organizers sought to raise awareness in the community about the uptick in violence. Participants called on neighbors to commit to a citywide truce. The parade included a classic car caravan, live music, residents riding bicycles and marching on foot, a horse-drawn casket, faith leaders, a cohort of local mothers who have lost sons and daughters to gun violence, and a contingent of Black cowboys and cowgirls on horseback.
Dinyal New brought poster-sized portraits of her two sons to Sunday’s peace parade. Both of her sons, Lee Weathersby III and Lamar Broussard, were lost to gun violence within the first three weeks of 2014.
As the parade made its way north along International Boulevard, police on motorcycles were on hand to help manage traffic. In the two images above, participants march and ride past the East Oakland Faith Deliverance Center on 74th Avenue and International Boulevard.
A member of Adamika Village’s CORE team marched by a local market on International Boulevard carrying a red, black, and green flag that reads “TRUCE.” Organizers said the event’s primary goal was to call for a citywide truce and help raise awareness about the dual threat of COVID-19 and gun violence.
Ricky Newborn of Top Hand Ranch led the peace parade for over two miles from 98th Avenue to Seminary Avenue along International Boulevard on his horse-drawn carriage, which was towing an empty casket to symbolize the Black lives lost to gun violence and COVID-19 this year in Oakland.
Virgil Baker (top), along with Sherilynn Cooke (below left) rode their horses along International Boulevard, trailed by a fire truck and a caravan of classic and custom cars. Baker and Cooke are members of the Northern California Coalition of Black Cowboys and Cowgirls.
Doc Lawson, seen above leaning into his 1966 Corvette, led the caravan of classic and custom cars at Sunday’s parade.
Chair of the Oakland Violence Prevention Coalition (OVPC), Antoine Towers, above, waited next to his car near 98th Avenue and International Boulevard prior to the parade starting. His organization OVPC co-hosted Sunday’s event with Adamika Village.
Along the parade route, local faith leaders representing Christian, Muslim, and African spiritual traditions provided healing words at sites where a life was lost to gun violence.
As marchers made their way to 92nd Avenue along International Boulevard from 98th Avenue, local resident Debra Ario was there to cheer them on.
Wearing her traditional Mexica Danzante regalia, Maria Juarez (center) marched down International Boulevard burning sage. Alongside her were members of the National Brown Berets Oakland Unit, which participated in solidarity with event organizers from the Black-led Adamika Village and Oakland Violence Prevention Coalition.
Brigitte Cook (left), a founding member of the Oakland Violence Prevention Coalition, chatted with Antionette Buckley, holding a poster-size portrait of her son, Kwame Anton Bell, who was shot and killed on February 11, 2019.
Daryle Allums (left) and members of the Adamika Village CORE team celebrated at the end of the march, which traveled over two miles along International Boulevard from 98th Avenue to Seminary Avenue.
Participants gathered in front of El Mercadito Market on the corner of Seminary Avenue and International Boulevard to hear parting thoughts from the organizers of the parade for peace.