Anti-Crime movement seeks to get activism on same page in Birmingham
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —
A new effort to fight crime in Birmingham.
Activists met at the Onyx Night Lounge to discuss the problem a week after a man was killed outside the club.
ABC 33/40 was at what could be the first of a series of meetings. Activists want to work on the problem by fixing their own past issues: start an increase in communication. They tell ABC 33/40 it's about getting people in the same room who have not always been on the same page.
A year after Birmingham's deadliest year in a decade, Onyx Night Lounge owner Keith Davis knows violent crimes remain high in 2017 because of the recent shooting death outside his club. Davis told ABC 33/40, "Birmingham right now is in a violent epidemic."
The exact reason his workplace became the meeting place for a "Saving the City" movement. Davis said, "Everybody has to be accountable because it is a city problem."
That has hit Eric Wynn hard his whole life. Wynn explained, "I grew up in Gate City. I lost my twin brother to gun violence in 2005." After ten years in prison, he's leading W.A.R., a group called "We're All Related". In the past he said different organizations were going about solving these issues by doing their own thing, with no prior collaboration. "In order for any type of movement, any type of crime reduction, you're going to have to get people organized," said Wynn. "In the same room, in the same building and familiar together."
But he said while it's a good first step, writing answers to questions on paper is only the beginning. "I think it's a matter of realizing it's a process we must go through not an event," said Wynn.
Leaders at the meeting see finding employment as a deterrent.
They want to split influencers into groups: motivators and activators.
Motivators would inspire people in affected communities.
Activators instruct people in the affected communities on the specific actions, programs and services that they said can hopefully stop these violent trends.
Another meeting will be held November 5th.