It's Time For Action!

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(Councilmember Charles Barron)

On Sunday, November 26, 2006, I attended a rally in Jamaica, Queens at the hospital where two Black young men were clinging to life while another was dead.  These three men were shot at 50x.  The family request that people come out and show love and support. Al Sharpton, Charles Barron, Rev. Daughtry, Viola Plummer of the December 12 Movement and activist Carol Taylor (Little Black Book) joined about 400 people.
I just needed to be there.  Red, black and green flags were distributed for free. I held my flag tightly and wondered for the 9000th time why I was still immersed in activism on an even deeper level 30 years later.  We marched around the hospital with the family before they went to make burial arrangements.  Oh the pain of a parent burying their child. Keep in mind, yesterday at 5:00 p.m. the young man who died was scheduled to be married. Folks were at the reception hall waiting and the bride was preparing to put on her dress.

The five police officers were Black, White and Hispanic. One officer emptied his gun and reloaded and emptied it again!!! My heart went out to the moms who were there exchaning stories about their sons being stopped, frisked, harassed. The large number of young men had blank stares as they tried to figure out what to do as a release other than tear up the place. Black people from all classes and ages were there.  All kinds of people of color and some white folks quietly provided support as they internalized the pain and trauma that Black folks sent out into the universe one more more time too more time--one more time too many.

Finally, some of the crowd walked over to the precinct to make their presence known.  I like the fact that everyone was cognizant of the fact that we needed to strategize and do something more than just march or riot.  I sent Reiki to the family and the crowd. The peace and respect was most abundant.  We all departed quietly, for the most part. I cried, I sighed, I took deep breaths, I watched and slowly closed the hole of despair.
There will be an important rally on Wednesday, December 6, 2006 at 4:30 p.m. in front of One Police Plaza. This rally, I believe, is important to show the police that like the Hasidim, we intend to seek justice for this most heinous crime. If we don't take a stand and maintain it until we are really free, no one else is going to do it for us.  
We,people of color, are 51% of the NYC population. We have the political and financial clout now to gain the respect/power that we need to stop this madness from the police and other institutions who feel they can do what they want in our community and with our children. If you do not want to attend a rally then call your politicians, write letters to the mayor -- DO SOMETHING!  Some folks said they will not shop for the holidays. 
The strategies for effective change are all around you, support them however you can.  Please don't let this die down as we have in the past and quickly forget, after the media frenzy and traumatic outrage simmers. We need a strong united stand. It is something we have to commit to. Most of all, talk to your children about the past and their responsibility for the future; bring them with you, encourage them to get and stay involved.  You can be their best source of motivation and role model.
Love, peace and empowerment to the people.

For more rally information call:  718.398.1766

Paisley is a Reiki master, business educator, youth advocate, holistic entrepreneur, and chairperson of the Life and Ethics Committee for the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture.

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