On Wednesday August 10, S.O.S. held a shooting response in the wake of three shootings on August 7. The response was attended by S.O.S. Brooklyn staff, youth organizers, community residents, volunteers, clergy, and members of GMACC, Guns Down Life Up, and Rock Safe Streets. In the wake of this violence we were thankful for everyone who came to stand with S.O.S. at our shooting response and for the new relationships we built with community residents and local businesses through this action. While this rally was about standing against gun violence as a community, it was also about urging those who were not at the shooting response to take a stand as well. S.O.S. Bed-Stuy Program Manager Tiffany Murray said:
“When people are afraid to come out and go to the places they enjoy going to, when people can’t even enjoy their summer and come outside and hang out on the stoop or at the park, it’s not acceptable. And you need to say it’s not acceptable. You need to be out here letting people know that’s not something you want here in your community. Sometimes it takes time for you to be willing to stand up and stand out but we’re letting you know that every time something like this happens, S.O.S. is gonna show up and speak out against it.”
Rahson Johnson, S.O.S. Crown Heights Violence Interrupter, echoed these sentiments as well:
“If you don’t raise your voice against this violence, there’s going to be nothing but silence and all we hear in this silence is gunshots. More of our people are going to get shot, more of our people are going to lose their lives, and what’re we going to do? We’re gonna duck, we’re gonna run for cover, and we’re gonna come back out here as if nothing happened. Let this be the day that you say to your own self that it has to stop. And let tomorrow be the day that you start to come out here and protest against gun violence.”
We will continue to raise our voices against gun violence and fight the idea that these events should be considered normal in our communities. We hope that you will join us.