Today the group Silence is Violence held it’s strike against crime. I noticed that something was up almost immediately upon getting on my bike when I saw this sign just a few blocks from home. And, as I continued my commute to work, I saw dozens more, each marking the location of a crime. Most of the signs I saw were for property crimes, though some marked sites of physical violence–and they were everywhere, a stark reminder of just how dangerous this city really is. I waver in my thinking about this danger, and in my sense of its relationship to my own existence here. I mean, I ride my bike everywhere, at all hours, rarely considering myself to be in danger. This fact garners various reactions, from none at all to good for you to what the hell are you thinking??? I react in much the same way to myself. Sometimes I think hey, I’m on my bike so I’m not actually at as much risk as if I were walking. Other times I can feel the hairs stand up on my arms and neck–at those moments, I really wish I were in a car. Ultimately, though, I have decided that I can’t let the fact of rampant crime keep me inside, keep me off of streets I have every right to travel. But I go ahead and trust my gut, too. Today’s action was incredibly effective in raising awareness and reminding us that NOLA crime rates aren’t normal. I wonder what we might do, though, to bring these numbers down given that what we think of as crime is a social decision with social roots, not solvable by our traditional views of crime and punishment. I wonder what it would really take to keep more signs from going up in this place.