Block parties in North and South Philadelphia neighborhoods are being curbed due to several factors, including gun violence in Philadelphia.
Apparently the requests for these celebrations, which allow the closure of streets, are not being approved due to crime in certain areas.
According to Jasmine Rilley, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia Police, the rejection of this type of activity has to do with “shootings, drug points or criminal groups in the area, that’s why we deny permits.”
However, the communities that experience violence firsthand say they feel “trapped” because neither one side nor the other can hold events that promote the enjoyment of adults and children, even more so in summer.
“Yes, they should let them do it. That this is good because the children enjoy it and much more when class time arrives, that they are locked, and when they take them outside they are running happily”, said Jacinta Parea, a resident of Kensington, one of the neighborhoods most impacted by crime. .
Although some call for greater openness, others maintain that “for the moment” it is better to stop the celebrations in certain places until the problem is resolved. “People drink alcohol and their blood runs hot and when you come to see there is a fight and a dead man appears,” said Luz Paredes, also a resident of Kensington.
In fact, one of the organizers of the Dominican Parade in Philadelphia, Miguel Peralta Rodríguez, insisted that “wherever many people gather, there is a problem right now. Philadelphia is one of the most violent cities in the United States and there is no doubt about that.”
This is what the neighbors and event organizers urge:
- Increased police presence.
- Opening of community spaces for areas where crime is present.
- Strategies for disadvantaged communities.
“The Police should close the block and give the permits, but at the same time be constantly going around checking, but if they don’t check, how are they going to know if something happens,” added Luz Paredes.