Anti-Violence March Draws Approximately 200 People
They shouted “Peace up, guns down” and “No more silence, stop the violence.” It was a community that had been pushed to the breaking point and last weekend they honored the latest victim of gun violence with a march through the streets of Rockaway.
But the march was not just in remembrance of Shawn Plummer, 18, who was killed on the corner of Beach 29 Street and Seagirt Boulevard on July 13; it also was for other victims of gun violence.
“We have a situation of madness,” said Councilman James Sanders Jr., who joined Plummer’s family, the community and civic groups at the event. “It’s a situation where we have to stop the madness before it stops all of us.” Donovan Richards, Sanders’ chief-of-staff, knows of such violence first hand. The day before the march a friend of Richards’ was shot.
“Only a coward would shoot a young man riding on a bike … sell poison in this community…leave a mother sonless… [and] would continue shooting up these streets,” said Richards as marchers stopped at a memorial to Plummer on Beach 28 Street. “We have been quiet too long. The community has been scared too long. Stop being scared.” Said another, “The word ‘snitch’ has to go.”
Sharon Plummer called for the end to the violence. Of her son Shawn she said, “For all who knew my son Shawn, you know he was a good kid – family oriented, well-caring, a leader… I’m very proud of him.”
Among those taking part in the march were the councils of the local housing developments, religious groups, the Far Rockaway NAACP, and the Rockaway Youth Task Force. State Senator Shirley Huntley and a representative from Senator Malcolm Smith’s office attended the rally prior to the march.