Warring factions look to sign up to keep the peace
Jawhi, along with Brother Nuri Muhammad, has been busy with the leadership of the respective groups hammering out the terms of the peace treaty. While he has chosen, at this juncture, not to elaborate on those specific conditions, he says that the men are firmly committed to putting down the guns. We also spoke with Diane Finnegan, whose role in bringing all parties together has been critical.
“Are you at liberty to discuss any aspect of the pact? I know that they called you and Brother Nuri to the table as brokers of this so-called peace treaty. Are you at liberty to discuss any aspect of it?”
Deshawn ‘Jawhi’ Morris, Motivational Speaker
“The only thing that I discussed was that the agreement was for one: to get through the holidays. But two: that if there were any incidents that took place that they were to give me a call. If any incidents, any disputes between your neighborhood and another neighborhood took place that I would have your word as a pact, as a man, before any retaliation takes place, that they would give my phone a call and I hadn’t received any calls, so that was one of the biggest challenges to put on them because at the end of the day most men don’t want to have to call another man when they’re involved in a situation. So it was a level of respect that they have, that I’m humble that embrace me in that way. So that’s really the only thing as far as the pact that I really want to get into.”
“Now you were in Placencia over the weekend, I saw you. I also saw a lot of these guys down there and they were essentially partying in proximity of each other at the Barefoot Bar for instance. How did you feel seeing that, on the beach seeing these guys all having a nice time without getting into an altercation?”
Deshawn ‘Jawhi’ Morris
“Well I got texts while I was out there. I saw this group, I saw that group, you know. We greeted each other but then each group was letting me know, you know, I spotted this group here and I was like, you know, “you’re okay with that huh?” They were like yeah man, we’re gonna honor this pact. So you know, I kept my eyes on them as much as I could while still entertaining my family. But again, it just only goes to show that sometimes, like these guys, they just need some direction.”
Diane Finnegan, Youth Apprenticeship Program
“The progress that has been made is, I hope it can be felt countrywide, that there has been no crime throughout the Easter holiday. That was what we were aiming for, to make sure that the Easter was crime and violence free and we were able to accomplish that. But this is not a one-time, occasional thing. As you can see, we are here today because we come back to the drawing board and we start working on the next step because we have some big holidays coming up soon and we have to continue to work. We have to also show these guys that while they are journeying towards that path of peace, they’ll find stumbling blocks along their way and we’ve already, some of them have experienced that after Wednesday’s peace walk. A couple of them experienced it. One of the great things about what transpired during that process which could have led to bloodshed is that they turned on to Jawhi and they started to communicate with him and show him what was happening and then asking for advice. So he was able to mentor to them, to tell them cut it off there, you know. What has to be deleted, delete but pay no focus to something that can destroy your effort.”
A follow-up during which the truce will be finalized will be held in the days ahead.