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Hundreds wearing orange march across Brooklyn Bridge to protest gun violence

Carried signs, wore T-shirts with photos of loved ones

June 5, 2023 Mary Frost
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Hundreds of people wearing orange rallied in Downtown Brooklyn on Saturday and marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to honor the victims of gun violence.

It was one of many events across the country for Wear Orange Weekend, sponsored by Moms Demand Action, Everytown for Gun Safety and Students Demand Action.

At the head of the march were the families and friends of loved ones lost to gun violence. Many wore T-shirts emblazoned with the victims’ names and photos, like 31-year-old Johnny Alberto Pizarro, called by his grieving family, “A loving son, father, brother and friend.”  

Friends and family members of victims of gun violence listen to speakers and performers before heading out on their “Wear Orange” march across the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

A few T-shirts listed two victims, some just young children when they died.

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“We are turning grief into action,” one marcher told the Brooklyn Eagle.

Cars on the bridge honked their horns in support as the chanting marchers made their way across the span to Manhattan.

At a gathering in Korean War Veterans Plaza before the march, Broadway performers sang inspirational versions of show tunes, including a haunting “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” 

Broadway professionals sang inspirational versions of Broadway show tunes, including a haunting “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Eagle photo by Mary Frost

Members of the God Squad’s Flatbush Leadership Academy and Mothers for Safe Cities, both programs of the 67th Precinct Clergy Council, urged people to protect children and replace gun violence with love.

In a related event, at the start of Wear Orange Weekend on Friday, students at Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School in Crown Heights joined Save Our Streets for their Eighth Annual Walkout to End Gun Violence. Students marched and rallied at Restoration Plaza in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Firearms are the leading cause of death of children and teens in America, according to Moms Demand Action. Participants wear orange to commemorate Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed on a playground in Chicago in 2013, one week after marching in President Barack Obama’s second inaugural festivities. Hadiya’s friends honored her by wearing orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves, and now Wear Orange is observed every June. 

Members of the God Squad’s Flatbush Leadership Academy, a program of the 67th Precinct Clergy Council, urged people to replace gun violence with love. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

President Joe Biden ordered that the While House be illuminated in orange on Friday, June 2, and Governor Kathy Hochul issued a proclamation on Friday designating June as Gun Violence Awareness Month.

State Attorney General Letitia James joined in the Wear Orange movement, saying on Instagram, “I wear orange for Buffalo. I wear orange for Uvalde. I wear orange for every single American impacted by senseless gun violence. But wearing orange is not enough. We need action.”

The God Squad’s vehicle was the appropriate color for Saturday’s Wear Orange rally and march over the Brooklyn Bridge. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

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