Bang, bang, bang — shots fired yet again. Week after week after week, from city to city all across the country the sounds of gunfire have become all too familiar. Babies, young children, Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents – all are turning into victims of vicious shootings that are literally killing us as a community. Enough is enough. I’m tired of burying people, and I’m tired of attending funerals. It’s time we reclaim our streets and our neighborhoods from the lost souls who have us living in fear. It’s time we let our presence be visible and set a tone that we are in America and not in a warzone like Iraq or Afghanistan.
It’s time we Occupy the Corners.
After a successful strategy meeting on Monday at National Action Network‘s House of Justice in Harlem, elected officials, clergy, and concerned members of the community organized a plan of action to turn the tide against the rampant violence plaguing our communities.
Beginning August 17th from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, we will take a literal stand on corners in the most-troubled areas throughout the city of New York.
Occupy the Corners will place an organized group of folks on these distressed corners to a) stand as symbols of positivity, b) engage with people from the community to figure out what their needs are, c) build trust between us and the various unsettled areas, and d) begin to establish order on the streets.
When I was a kid, if I acted up in school, my mother would go to class and sit next to me for several days, embarrassing me in front of everyone. At the time, I didn’t fully understand it, but now I know that it was a vital lesson for me to understand that bad behavior would not be tolerated AND that my family was willing to help if I couldn’t control myself.
Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network have also called for a meeting with N.Y.C. Mayor Michael Bloomberg to seek methods of funding many of the great grassroots efforts out here working daily to curb the violence. The fact remains that numerous organizations are on the ground, in our communities, but don’t receive the sort of monetary support that for-profit and many other non-profits receive.