Thursday, August 1, 2013

100 Man March Encourages Community to "Take the Lead" in Stopping Violence


Photos by Andrew Hinderaker

S.O.S. Outreach Worker Derick Scott
S.O.S. organized its annual Crown Heights Peace March, this year entitled The 100 Man+ March Against Gun Violence this past Saturday, July 27th. We recruited Brooklyn men to lead Brooklynites on a march through Crown Heights streets calling residents to action, emphasizing the point that each person has a role to play in the movement to curb gun violence and violence of all kinds.

The march stepped off from Eastern Parkway and Kingston Avenue at 1:45 and proceeded down Kingston to Weeksville School Playground on Bergen Street where The Prezidential Ladies Social Club hosted a free family Barbecue.Over 100 men, women and families from the neighborhood marched behind Senior S.O.S. Outreach Worker Derick Scott as he called out, "What are we prepared to do?" and the crowd responded with, "Take the Lead!" The number of marchers increased as local residents joined as the procession along the way. The march ended at the school yard with about people walking and chanting together.

At the school yard the marchers rallied to words from Derick Scott, who enumerated ways in which we can each contribute to a change in the culture of violence so commonly present in densely populated poor neighborhoods. Among the actions he recommended to the crowd were, “speak to your neighbors and don’t pass them by without acknowledging them.” “Remember how your speech and behavior impact on others.” and, “Help people who are struggling instead of criticizing them.” He urged the crowd to stop using the term, “the hood” and to “restore the neighbor to neighborhood.”

Mediation Center Associate Director Marlon Peterson
Associate Director Marlon Peterson also spoke to the crowd, saying that "by marching today, with young people among us, we are making it possible that young people in the future will not have to march-- because there will already be peace."

Led by Tarsha Richardson, The Prezidential Ladies demonstrated their commitment to the nascent anti-violence coalition that S.O.S. is trying to build in Crown Heights by hosting a diverse crowd of neighbors at their annual barbecue and dedicating it to stopping gun violence.

Prezidential Ladies BBQ

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