Brooklyn Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte and Councilman Jumaane Williams on Wednesday demonstrated solidarity with the National School Walkout against gun violence.
“Today, I joined with my Assembly colleagues in solidarity with the National School Walkout,” said Rodneyse, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn. “For 17 minutes, we solemnly remembered and honored the 17 students and educators who tragically lost their lives during the heartbreaking school shooting in Parkland, Fl., as well as the families, friends and loved ones mourning these unconscionable losses.
“Silence holds a power and gravity that words often fail to convey,” said the first Haitian American from New York City to be elected to the State Assembly. “Yet, while we are making it clear that we stand behind the students, educators, families and allies taking a stand, we must also take meaningful action. The victims deserve more than a few minutes of remembrance; they deserve change.”
Bichotte said the Assembly has passed “critical commonsense gun measures” in banning bump stocks (A.9958), keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and dangerous individuals with “clear red flags” (A.5025, A.8976-B) and established longer waiting periods to ensure thorough background checks (A.2406).
“It’s time the state Senate acts to pass these measures and protect New Yorkers, and it’s time Congress took our cue and protected all Americans,” she said. “Parents shouldn’t have to send their children to school worried that they won’t be safe.
“We can’t allow this to become the norm,” she added. “We, as lawmakers, cannot become numb, and our families cannot be left to live in constant fear.”
On Wednesday, high school students across Brooklyn walked out of school to protest gun violence.
Williams joined students at Brooklyn College Academy and Midwood High School in solidarity and support of the cause.
At Brooklyn College Academy, over 100 students lined the West Quad of Brooklyn College Campus and stood in silence for 17 minutes, representing the 17 students killed at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.
Some held signs calling for action on gun control in general, and protections for students in school specifically, said Williams, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn.
“Their silent action resonated across the campus,” he said.
At Midwood High School, Williams said hundreds of students poured into the schoolyard to protest inaction in the face of gun violence and to memorialize victims.
“A sea of students knelt as the names and biographies of the students killed in Parkland were read, with the students repeating their stories one by one, in one voice,” Williams said. “This powerful display highlighted the human cost of gun violence.
“It is truly inspiring to see this generation rising up in protest, taking action on this issue that affects them directly,” added Williams, a candidate for New York Lt. Governor. “When they speak, our leaders must listen.
“All across the country, these students are saying with one loud, clear voice that enough is enough,” he continued. “Elected officials have a moral responsibility to respond by standing up to the NRA (National Rifle Association) and others who oppose progress in the areas of gun safety, just as these bold students have.
“From the mass shootings that shake our nation to the tragic, daily gun violence that plagues our streets from Florida to Brooklyn, we must all stand together to effect change,” Williams said. “I thank this new generation of leaders for pushing the conversation forward and demanding action.”