Woman camps out for peace amid rising Philadelphia violence

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Anti-violence activists are sleeping under the stars in the bitter cold temperatures in an effort to bring attention to the rising crime in Philadelphia.

In single-digit weather, Rosalind Pichardo has literally set up camp. The vacant lot on the 3500 block of North 11th Street is now a place to protest for peace on Philadelphia's violent streets.

"For the next three days we'll be out here camping out," she said. "We're here trying to be a solution to a lot of problems that have been in the city."

Forty-six murders have been recorded in the city in the first month of 2021. It's a 31% increase from this time last year.

A double murder on Thursday afternoon on the 3600 block of Germantown Avenue is just minutes from where Pichardo is protesting.

"I've experienced violence during my campout where we hear gunfire in the background. I think that isn't going to deter me," she said.

But the tumbling temperatures, looming snow and the pandemic has kept some from participating, but not from stopping by to see what the cause is all about.

Pictures of murdered loved ones, tethered to a chain fence is a snapshot of the lives lost in the city.

"I think it does call attention to maybe a population that isn't familiar with what's going on," said Sharon Newman.

Pichardo vows to keep fighting for peace.

"Be persistent. Nobody is doing this. I think if I stop now it will just be like the last 9, 8 years, it would have been for nothing. So I have to keep doing it," she said.
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