Thousands rally in Brooklyn against gun violence

March 25, 2013 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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March across Brooklyn Bridge; 400 acts of ‘compassion’

More than 3,000 young Seventh-Day Adventists from ten states came together in Downtown Brooklyn on Saturday to rally against gun violence. Wearing T-shirts depicting two hands forming a heart and the word “Compassion,” the crowd heard speeches and prayed in Cadman Plaza Park and marched with drums, banners and flags over the Brooklyn Bridge to various stops in Manhattan, ending in Foley Square.

“We are tired of seeing violence in our streets, our communities and homes,” said Pastor Jose Cortez, Jr., Director of Adventist Youth Ministries for the Atlantic Union Conference. “We long for a day when children, women, elderly and all people can live peacefully and without fear of violence in this city. This is the reason we are marching today.

“Let’s unite in making New York City the Capital of Compassion,” he added.

“Violence is not the answer,” said Congresswoman Yvette Clark (D-Brooklyn’s 9th District). “When young people make their minds up, they can teach us all a lesson: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Clark said the Seventh-Day Adventists were “brilliant” in asking young people “to demonstrate what they learn every day in their congregations.”

Pastor Rohann Wellington, spokesperson for the Greater New York Conference, said the march was about creating change from “the depressing statistics of our community” suffering from “senseless acts of violence.”

More than 400 “compassionate meetings” took place across the city over the weekend, said Dr. Donald King, President of the Atlantic Union Conference. Some of these included packing meals for those hit by Superstorm Sandy, and donating blood. “We believe in walking the acts of compassion,” he said.

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