Brooklyn residents, activists and elected officials marched through the streets of the borough on Sunday, demanding that the mayor and governor combat gun violence by funding more community programs.
With the city still reeling from the death of 11-year-old Kyhara Tay of the Bronx, who was caught in the crossfire of a brazen daylight shooting of a young teenager, New Yorkers fear that the bullet storm is only getting worse with the impending summer months. .
Organized by New York Communities for Change (NYCC) – a non-profit human rights organization – crowds gathered at 890 Flatbush Ave. to demand that top city and state politicians put their money where they say.
“We fight for a cause of peace of mind, for the safety of our communities! We want to talk to gun owners and gun suppliers, the people who make guns available, and the aunts, uncles, cousins who support gun men and women. Let’s walk to make it stop. We want our children to live. We want to see our future doctors, our future scientists, we want our children to live,” said NYCC Flatbush Chapter member Gwendolyn Allison.
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Allison, like many Brooklynites on the march, shared her constant fear of leaving her home to visit her local grocery store, supermarket or even just to walk around her neighborhood due to the continuous rain of gunfire that take to the streets of New York.
“Let’s march for peace, let’s march for our lives, let’s march for safety,” Allison exclaimed.
Around 200 protesters marched in the scorching sun, chanting “Don’t shoot, I want to grow up!” Along the way, marchers laid flowers at several locations marking areas where people have lost their lives to gun violence.
Members of Labor Local 79 have joined the cause in calling for long-term solutions, not just quick fixes to the violence. They call for more unionized jobs, targeted investments in affordable housing, and updated infrastructure available in marginalized communities.
Instead of just defunding law enforcement, protesters called for investing $1 billion in community response to gun violence, holding gunmakers accountable, investing in summer youth and educational opportunities as well as in universal mental health care.
The march culminated at the Brooklyn Museum.
As the group spoke out against gun violence, just across the river, another New Yorker fell victim to gun violence; a 48-year-old man was shot in the chest and killed at the Canal Street subway station in Manhattan.