Updated 08/19/2012 04:08 PM
Activists "Occupy Corners" In Brooklyn To Confront Gun Violence Where It Starts
The National Action Network's "Occupy The Corners" initiative launched this weekend to get community leaders and local residents to take over street corners in high-crime areas. The movement came Saturday night to Brownsville, Brooklyn, where a series of recent shootings has the neighborhood fighting back. NY1's Natasha Ghoneim filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
With 10 people shot in Brownsville, Brooklyn in the last three weeks, residents are angry and frustrated.
Born out of that anger and frustration is the "Occupy The Corners" movement. Beginning on Friday evening for four consecutive weekends, the Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network, activists and members of the community are targeting what they consider some of the city's danger zones for gun violence, to try to prevent it.
The "Occupy The Corners" campaign to stop gun violence is headed to Queens Sunday night. Residents and local activists will be at Sutphin Boulevard and 118th Avenue in South Jamaica starting at 11 p.m.
On Saturday night, the activists occupied the corner of Mother Gaston Boulevard and Sutter Avenue in Brownsville.
"It's really important that we rally together to let our young people know that carrying guns and gun violence and madness has to stop," said a local. "They're our next generation, so they have to know that there's another way to do things."
"We've been able to take several guns off the street and that's not even involving a buyback program," said community activist Tony Herbert. "We've been able to assist some of our young folks who chose to be in these street organizations to get employment, coupled with the fact that we are talking with family members who are now sitting and having a dialogue with their young children."
A drive-by shooting on July 29 in Brownsville injured six people, including a two-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy.
Then on August 13, four teenagers were injured by gunfire near a Brownsville park.
At a basketball court in the neighborhood, young men spoke with NY1 about peer pressure and growing up in the shadow of violence and guns.
"It's very hard to live out here because it's getting dangerous for the kids and for us too," said one man, who said he plays basketball to stay out of trouble.
Another basketball player, when asked how easy it is to get a gun, said, "Go to a certain spot and guy, then it's done, pretty much."
The demonstrators standing overnight at Mother Gaston Boulevard and Sutter Avenue hoped to shift attitudes and engage the community to help curb the ongoing violence, saying this is a struggle that young people cannot afford to lose.
People will continue to occupy corners every Friday to Sunday for the next three weekends. For more information on the movement, visit NationalActionNetwork.net.