‘Occupy The Corners:’ Al Sharpton, Community Leaders Seek End to Gun Violence
9 months ago
Summer headlines sparking renewed action to make streets, communities safer
NEW YORK CITY – Dozens of New Yorkers, state and local elected officials, and community activists stood with Rev. Al Sharpton late Friday night, to speak out against the summer gun violence claiming lives in the city and around the country.
The gatherings, now a growing movement known as “Occupy The Corners,” will be happening each weekend night for four weeks in 10 of the city boroughs’ most violent “hotspots.”
Organizers said they intend to spread the model around the country, and to refute the notion that residents of violence-plagued neighborhoods are all talk and no action.
“I am peace,” declared a group gathered at 129th Street and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood, a largely minority community.
Half a dozen police officers stood watch over the group gathered in a circle, in front of Muddy Waters Café and across from the Salem United Methodist Church, where attendees took turns giving remarks.
“Whatever your status is, in your life and your position in this city, it has not been enough to stop our kids from dying,” said Street Corner Resources founder Iesha Sekou. “I had to tell my grandson [he] can’t come [to New York] this summer, because I’m scared to death."
Several other speakers echoed her sentiments, most of them recalling recent reports of senseless gun violence, including the late July murder of Lloyd “Chris” Morgan, a 4-year-old boy shot in the head by a stray bullet during a basketball tournament in New York’s Bronx borough.
Sharpton, who eulogized Morgan’s funeral earlier this month, said violence around the country – including the movie theater massacre in Colorado and the Sikh temple shooting rampage in Wisconsin – has played a tremendous role in bringing gun violence back to the consciousness of America.