Shouting “¡no mas!”, which means “no more”, over 150 community members and police officers stood in solidarity to protest drugs and the opiod epidemic.
The event took place Tuesday, November 13, with St. Michael’s/San Miguel Church located at 869 N. Clinton Avenue as the center point, extending North and South to make a human chain.
¡No Mas! is a campaign launch in the fight against the heroin/fentanyl epidemic that has converged on our communities and the nation; but the ¡No Mas! Human Chain idea was conceived by Ida Perez, a local resident and community leader.
“We are impacted by what you are doing,” is the message she wants to send to those who come to sell or buy drugs.
Along North Clinton Avenue the open-air heroin market of drivers and walk-up traffic was disrupted with the presence of the human chain, members of the RPD and supporters wearing ¡No Mas! T-shirts to send the message of compassion and no tolerance. Residents and businesses want visitors, but not for drugs.
“We love you, but not what you are doing to our neighborhood, is the message,” stated Miguel Melendez of Ibero-American Development Corporation.
The Ibero-American Development Corporation (IADC) funded by the Department of Justice supported the campaign through a grassroots resident-driven initiative of the Project CLEAN (Community, Law Enforcement & Assistance Network). Project CLEAN operates a diverse Steering Committee to provide guidance of its actions. Participants and representation of the committee includes neighborhood residents, law enforcement, health outreach and treatment programs, City and County government departments, elected officials, other local non-profit organizations, and other stakeholders who have a vested interest in improving quality of life and reducing the impact of chronic drug sales and use on the community. Taking a comprehensive approach to tackling conditions in the neighborhood is their intent.
In partnership with Rochester Institute of Technology Center for Public Safety Initiatives, Project CLEAN has studied the North Clinton Area for their planning year and concluded that now is the time to move toward implementing strategies in the neighborhood to create positive change.
Residents and business owners commented that they are tired of the drug traffic lingering on their premises or blocking their driveways and walkways of regular customers and visitors.
The results of this drug traffic are needles strewn on the sidewalks and properties, over doses of strangers and others, as well as unwanted loitering for drug sales.
“We know that we can’t continue to exist with the way things are now. We want to help those who need treatment, counseling, job skills or work force opportunities to transition out of their current conditions,” stated Melendez.
There will be a ¡No Mas! Resource Card that will be passed out in the community along with posters with information.
If you would like to volunteer or are seeking help or resources information is available on Facebook at No Mas Rochester.