ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Steps away from the site of the mass shooting that killed two and injured fourteen, activists demonstrated Wednesday to put a stop to gun violence.
Jerome Brown, an activist in the Albany area, made the journey to Rochester to join the Wednesday demonstration.
“We have to change,” said Brown. “We have to change our perception on how we deal with issues, we have to change how we deal with conflict, and we have to know that there is an alternative way.”
“I’ve also been mired by violence,” added Brown, an organizer with SNUG. “My father was killed when I was 5, my brother is paralyzed right now and I have a nephew who died at the age of 17 from gun violence.”
SNUG, which began in 2009, is New York’s anti-gun violence outreach program.
In Rochester, there have been more than 180 shootings in 2020, according to police data.
“My grandkids have to walk these streets, and I want it to be safe for them, and that’s why I’m out here walking,” said Brenda Johnson, a Rochester resident.
“We still need for people to speak up, and stop sitting back and not saying anything. It’s happened to too many families,” said Rhonda Harris, who also joined the Wednesday anti-gun violence demonstration.
Isabel Rosa, a Rochester-area organizer with Actions for a Better Community, said demonstrating Wednesday “means that we’re tired of the violence.”
“It means we’ll do whatever it takes to help our young people get back to a healthy place, to help our communities become safe again,” Rosa continued.