Photos: “30 Lives/30 Minutes Of Solidarity”

December 18, 2014

Members of the Mt. Zion AME Church, along with others, staged “30/30 Thursday: 30 Lives/30 Minutes of Solidarity: Die-In Event” at 12.00pm today [Dec 18], bringing the community together in order to protest against gun violence in Bermuda.

Saying that since 2003 Bermuda has lost 30 young men to gun violence, the Church said they will stage the “Community Die-in” as a “show of community solidarity that we value our sons,” and to say “we refuse to accept as a norm our sons killing our sons in our community.”

“We refuse to accept as a norm the devaluing of our lives by those who do not value their own,” a statement from the Church said. “We refuse to let cynicism, hatred, hopelessness, violence and the gang culture to go unchallenged in our community and in our homes.”

The event is still underway, and we will update with additional information, photos and videos as able.

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Comments (15)

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  1. 3rdeye says:

    Encouraging and important to see these stands of solidarity. The younger generations will mimic are examples. Sorry I couldn’t make it.

    • Lord help us says:

      And they paused and prayed and went home to their daily lives not realizing that around them much more work needed to be done. Walk through town and our women are cursing out loud. Children can telling off their teachers. And we just say “What can I do”. Well, we will need more than die ins. We will need concrete action and when it comes the same people there will be the first to say “you are being tooo harsh”. Which means the Bible has it right: these are the end days because it even speaks to the lateness of the church in tackling things before they get out of control. Lord help us.

  2. Devonshire says:

    The common expression is to forgive and forget but often times remembrance forms an integral part of forgiveness…

    Forgiveness = Healing

    Great initiative

  3. Just a matter of time says:

    First I wish to say kudos to Pastor Jahkimmo Smith and the Mt. Zion AME church for organization this most powerful event. A very somber and respected moment for those lost and the surviving family and friends who are left to grieve.

    Now here’s my rant and I don’t give a rats a** how many dislikes I get because I am busting at the seams here…

    Where were the white Bermudian people at this City Hall event today? I saw about maybe 5 tops. Where they Bermudian I wonder? Because I find that non Bermudian whites are more progressive than Bermudian whites. And I have had a white non Bermudian friend tell me this. This needs to be said people! Those young men whose names were called and were taken from us so violently are ALL of our children as BERMUDIANS. WHERE WERE THEY? Now if this were the darn Americas Cup or promoting the rugby classic or PGA there they will be! I saw a few politicians from both PLP and Ms. Scott from OBA who gave a tear jerking tribute to Mr. Edness and admittedly I did not see more although there could have been. Rev Nicolas Dill gave the closing prayer before I left and gave a powerful prayer and he is certainly one I respect as a white person WALKING THE TALK regarding our social ills on this island. But to those who dare to say, even on these blogs, or to even think, let along suggest that there is racial harmony here on this island is living in la la land. And when someone mentions race and the problems (like me), they are labeled as racist. How can we have the conversation if we can’t even TALK about it. I am so sick of it all.

    And it’s ok to admit there is no harmony. I actually respect that more because truth is better than lies and hiding the truth and not dealing with the problems that need to be dealt with festers like a rotting smelly unhealed cankor sore. And the smell is worsening and it stinks. But as it worsens, don’t continue to say that we are fine just because we socialize with each other at happy hour now and then. Again, WHERE ARE THE WHITE BERMUDIANS to come out and support such? I guess the NIMBY syndrome runs real deep when it comes to issues like these for them. I for one am truly disgusted. Don’t get me wrong, I am more for empowering our people first than to be looking for white support because in the end that doesn’t happen anyway. But when I see the protest events in the US about gunned down black men, it is starting a national conversation both black and white. You see more and more whites and non blacks joining the marches, getting arrested, doing the die-ins, expressing their utter disgust on the blogs and even more and more white politicians speaking out on it and it’s refreshing to see. But here on THIS island? We are light years behind. If white Bermuda does not come to grips and understand that this affects ALL of us and refuse to have the conversation, it will definitely get worse and who knows what could happen to your precious Americas Cup if more harmony is not shown. Senator Daniels’s recent opinion piece substantiates what happened today. Smh.

    • Andrew Paul Scaife says:

      Just a matter of time, hide behind your Pen name if you wish….but do yourself a favor and hit me up on FB and I will friend you. On my page you can see who this born Bermudian White boy was there to support. I was supporting “ALL” my Fellow Bermudians at this event as well as the mother of one the young men who has been so violently ripped from us. I used to work with her everyday and she is a pillar of strength and conviction. Your tone is somewhat venomous but I do agree there should have been more people there….this isn’t just a one sided affair….it affects us all.

      By the way….last photo image of the set above with the white Rev. praying….I’m the one 2nd from his left wearing the Grey jacket and blue jeans. Laying down in solidarity with all my “Bermudian” brothers and sisters. Bless up Bermuda and respect to you.
      #bdastrong #stoptheviolence

  4. Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

    As I walked away after the prayers I found myself wondering why there were so few there. Where were all the people who had marched on Government house, and all those who marched on Parliament?

    Is the limited interest because of the common perception that these people were all gang members, or drug dealers, or whatever?

    Maybe they all were, I don’t know. What I know is that there is that now in Bermuda there are young men shooting at other young men who in turn go about getting revenge.

    This isn’t the Bermuda I grew up knowing. This isn’t the Bermuda I want the kids coming up being a part of. Unless we find time, and make time to stand up and speak, whenever and however we can, this is just going to continue. It saddens me deeply.

    To the families and friends of those who’ve died, regardless of who they were and what they might have done, may you have strength and find peace.

    • Truth(Original) says:

      In my honest opinion Rhonnie (and without malice), I think many view these displays as useless. Who is this display for? The gang members? They certainly don’t care. The public? The public will get behind initiatives that effect real change. “Die ins” are designed to bring attention to an issue but Bermudians are not only acutely aware of the issues plaguing our young men and women, they are weary of it.

      What is more interesting to see than a die in is the next steps in finding a way to reach our young men and women before gangs do.

      1. Functional families are paramount. It is the dysfunction in the family units that gives the perversion of the family (a gang) a foothold in our children’s lives. We need to clean up our acts as Parents and understand that there are many things that are truly harmful to young minds and make the sacrifice and purge those things from our homes. So you have less “fun” ..and? Priorities people.

      2. Education is key because education leads to opportunities that exceed the benefits offered by a gang. We have to incentivize getting good grades even if it is monetarily. It will cost less to reward children WELL for scholastic excellence than to incarcerate them on the back end.

      3. Exposure. Our children need a view into the lives of people (families) who are doing well and functioning well. They need to know first hand that it is possible to live a normal life and that they are not destined to duplicate that dysfunction that they may be in. Exposure gives a child a range of options as to what is possible. Without it, they will simply make a choice within the things that they are exposed to because that is all they know. I would be willing to open my home for a program like that because I know that I can make a real difference.

      If a die in leads to actions on any of the above, I think you will find that the support will increase dramatically.

      Those are my thoughts, for what it is worth.

      Peace all.

      • Rhonnie aka Blue Familiar says:

        I’m not going to address the majority of your post, Truth, because I agree with it.

        But in regards to your first paragraph. I don’t know the intention of those who arranged it. But while there’s a lot of lip service give in the community regarding the problem, little is being done on the grass roots level. Everyone seems to be leaving it to the authorities. Maybe even a tiny bit of action will make a difference.

        Okay, maybe not to the hardened gang members, if such a thing exists down here, but someone young who witnessed the pain of the families at that event, might think twice about putting themselves in danger.

        Even if the event only gave friends and families of those who died a few moments of knowing that people outside their circle of family and friends actually cares that their children died it’s worth it, and then some.

        Things have to start somewhere, maybe there was the place.

        • Truth (Original) says:

          I see where you are coming from and I agree with that.

        • hmmm says:

          Not devaluing this exercise, but we lost over 130 people since the beginning of 2003 on the road. Can we have a die in for them too please?

        • Truth(Original) says:

          I understand where you are coming from and I agree with that.

  5. Cafe Au Lait says:

    @ Just a matter of time: Maybe some folks (you mentioned whites) thought that lying down still and not saying anything for half an hour was no better than doing nothing at all. So they didn’t show up.

    Sorry you are so upset. The dove was a nice touch – but again – it didn’t really do anything. We still have the problem. All that praying too.

  6. John says:

    Black lives matter
    White lives matter
    Animal lives matter

    ALL lives matter

  7. Special Coffee says:

    Only in Bermuda could people lie down and do nothing, and think they are doing something.

  8. Thank You Pastor Jahkeemo Smith and the Mount Zion Church family!!!
    I applaud the efforts of anyone who is bold enough to take a public stand to keep the community awareness of the lives of the 30 young black Bermudian man who have been shot and murdered at the for front and to let those who maybe contemplating taking another life know that it’s not right nor is it acceptable,the horrific after affects are unconscionable!!!! No one has the right to take another persons life.
    I thank those on the front line and in the trenches who continue to go into the lions den, many times putting their own lives at risk every day reaching out to save those caught up in the dangerous world of drugs gang and anti social behavior…. They truly are the heroes.
    Children left with out fathers, funerals cost,court cases,the Phycological, emotional and deep rooted pain of murder has destroyed many families and innocent children on both sides,the victims and those families and children of the perpetrators. We ALL have been impacted or affected in some way shape or form. My prayer is that we will learn to forgive and to heal as a community and stop the senseless shooting!!! If you would like to do something you can join me in helping the almost 40 children between the ages of 4 and 16 left behind from gun violence. We support them through providing counselling, healthy food items, school clothes and educational scharlorships . We believe prevention is better than cure, we also believe that their lives matter and they deserve a chance to be feed clothed and educated!!!! You can contact me on 704-0224 or spencegina@yahoo.com
    You can find out more about our “Champions” program at our website http://www.gspic.org

    I have lost a son in law and nephew to gun violence both in their 20′s and I have worked with the families over the past 11 years and know and understand their struggle pain and dispair. You will never understand until it happens to you.

    I have also worked for over 35 years with our prison population and have spent many hours with our young man involved in the gang culture!

    There is NO one answer, cure,person or group that has the answer, how ever I do believe that talk is cheap, it’s a lot easier to talk about a problem than to get involved and do actually something about it. I choose to do something and applaud anyone who chooses to do the same.

    As Bob Marley said ” He who knows it feels it”!

    The Bilble says…..
    For much is given much is required.
    If you do this to the least of them you have done it unto me.
    Faith with out works is dead.
    Martin Luthet King also said in one of his most powerful speeches
    “Evil flourishes when good man stand by and do nothing!!!

    I refuse to stand by and do nothing!!!
    The questions remains what is it that you choose to do?