Tuesday, June 12, 2012

RECAP: Save Our Streets Week

Thank you to the over 600 people who participated in Save Our Streets Week, and to the staff and volunteers who made it possible.

In spite of the rain, young men and women from the neighborhood gathered in Brower Park on Tuesday June 5th for S.O.S. Peace Games. While those that were participating in the Basketball tournament waited for the court to be cleared, young kids played egg and spoon races, and cheered the players on. The game was rescheduled to Friday, when over 150 people returned to play again.

On Wednesday, June 6th, the youth organizers of Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets surprised Crown Heights with a flash mob. At exactly 6:00 PM, two young people staged an argument on the sidewalk of Utica Avenue. Onlookers were concerned and Outreach Worker David Bookhart was about to mediate.

Just before he could, youth organizers and students from across the neighborhood showed Crown Heights residents how to resolve conflict: they swarmed around the “fighters” and began dancing and waving S.O.S. flags to the song “Wave Your Flag”. Many thanks to Reean Charles, YO S.O.S. intern, and Radel Clause, Americorps volunteer, for putting the flash mob together. See a video of the flash mob here:

The block party and March to End Gun Violence was on Thursday, June 7th when school was out for Brooklyn Queens day.  The day began with a barbecue on Park Place in front of Brower Park.  S.O.S. Volunteer JC Carter aka DJ Spinrite spun some tunes that included a special S.O.S. mix, residents visited resource tables, and kids enjoyed games, a special art activity from the Brooklyn Hi Art! Machine, and even got to play with reptiles from the Brooklyn Children’s Museum

In the evening, residents gathered in Brower Park and began to march through the neighborhood. Over a hundred people chanted in unison “Peace Up, Guns Down” and “You Watch My Block, I’ll Watch Yours; Your Watch My Child, I’ll Watch Yours. Along the way, children and residents were waiting to support the marchers with signs that encouraged an end to gun violence. After arriving at Utica and Eastern Parkway, S.O.S. staff led a ceremony to remember the victims of gun violence, to identify the costs of gun violence to the community, to recognize what the neighborhood as accomplished in the last year, and to commit to taking action to reduce gun violence even further in the year to come.

S.O.S. is excited to have kicked off the summer with so much energy, commitment, and support. Please visit our facebook page to see more pictures from the weeks events.

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