Dozens of people lie in Sutphin Boulevard as part of a rally to protest gun violence. Photo by Nat Valentine
A “lie down” demonstration in downtown Jamaica was held on Saturday, June 12th, which included mothers and relatives of many victims of gun violence in the community of Jamaica, in which this year alone have been 67 victims. That is a huge number, HUGE.
This is all good to have this type of demonstration, but I don’t think awareness needs to be raised, we are totally aware of how Jamaica has become the Wild Wild West. The BIG question is what kind of action is going to take place in this community and other American black communities like it. There was not one mention of that, not even by two leaders of Jamaica who attended, Senator Malcolm Smith and Leroy Comrie, who is running against Smith. You mean neither, who have been dealing with this issue in the community had nothing to say or was this just another publicity stunt for them, since it is election time. But I am not surprised, both have been leaders in this community for a very long time and this community is still dealing with the exact same problems be it shootings, killings, crime, garbage, etc. So you have to ask yourself, what are they doing and are they doing enough? And please don’t bring up the very weak Gun Buy Back program, a teeny band-aid of a huge gaping wound.
If no action is taken to deal with this problem, this will just continue over and over again. So the black community here in Jamaica and other places in the country, really need to look themselves in the mirror and be honest about this major problem that is decimating many of their young people and innocents who are caught in the cross-fire. Unlike crazy ass white boys who walk into a school or on a campus and open fire with automatic weapons killing large numbers of innocent, the situation here in Jamaica and other black communities has become a normal way of life with shootings happening on pretty much a daily basis. This is not a twice a year thing or a once in awhile thing, this is a everyday occurrence, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.
Time for action and solutions, not talk, we have talked this subject to death over and over again. Talk is cheap. Whether it be bringing back a better version of “Stop & Frisk”, more police presence or some other type of action, something needs to happen. But when an America black community in New Jersey makes a make shift memorial for an ex-con ( http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/person-interest-arrest-jersey-city-killing-article-1.1866138) who was killed by police when the ex-con assassinated a young police officer in Jersey City (and yes, it was a cold-blooded assassination) and his lunatic wife says “he should have killed more cops”, something is majorly wrong within certain American Black communities, where killers are held up high and something to be proud of, it is time to hold a huge mirror up and stop placing blame everywhere else and look at yourself. Take a good hard look at the American Black Community and be honest to what is really go on and why. The time for a million excuses is over.
From Times Ledger:
Jamaica parents demand an end to gun violence
“Enough is enough” was the message of dozens of relatives who have lost loved ones to gun violence in Jamaica Saturday afternoon.
The National Action Network, a civil rights organization with chapters nationwide, held a “lie in” demonstration in downtown Jamaica to commemorate those lost and to raise awareness of the issue.
“It is a shame that on a beautiful day like today, we have to be out here in our communities, telling our own people to stop the gun violence and to stop shooting and killing each other,” said Victoria Pannell, 15, president of NAN’s New York City youth chapter. “It is not the answer to settle beef or to solve arguments. All gun violence is going to do is get you 20 years to life and make some poor family go through the trials and tribulations of burying a loved one.”
Demonstrators lay across the road Saturday, temporarily blocking traffic on Parsons Boulevard in between Jamaica and Archer avenues. Among them was Kevin Livingston, founder of 100 Suits for 100 Men, an organization that helps convicted felons re-enter the job market.
“We’re tired of being reactive,” he said. “If we have to disrupt Jamaica’s economic engine to bring attention to the issue, it’s worth it.”
There have been 67 victims of gun violence in Queens South precincts this year so far and 658 shooting victims citywide during that time, according to NYPD statistics. This was a 9.5 percent citywide increase in the number of shooting victims from the same time last year.
Parents, siblings, aunts and uncles cried out countless names of those they knew who had died from gun violence.
“Since I lost my son, unfortunately, my circle of friends has become mothers that have lost their kids,” said Shenee Johnson, whose son, Kedrick Morrow, was gunned down in 2010. “The real question is not when are we going to stop the violence. The honest question to ask today if we don’t continue to do more, is who’s next?”
Morrow was killed following a dispute at a Springfield Gardens party, a month before he was going to graduate from high school.
Taylonn Murphy, whose 18-year-old daughter Tayshana was shot and killed in a Harlem housing development in 2011, attended the rally to show support for Queens parents who had lost children to gun violence.
“We don’t want anyone else to join the messed-up club we’re in,” he said.
Embattled state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) and his challenger, former Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie, attended the rally and participated in the lie in.
“We are out here trying to stop the gun violence the way our ancestors fought segregation — only this time, we are doing the damage to ourselves,” Victoria Pannell said. “It is time for us to let young people know that picking up a piece of steel is not going to solve anything.”