HARLEM — At a rally at his Central Harlem headquarters Saturday, Rev. Al Sharpton called for the start of a new "occupy" movement to take over the streets of New York City — one that would draw communities out to reclaim safety in their neighborhoods.
Joined by the mother of Lloyd Morgan, a 4-year-old who was shot and killed last Sunday in a Bronx playground, Sharpton said he wants "Occupy the Corner" to bring back the rights of families to exist in peace.
"We need to stand up and tell everyone that enough is enough," said Sharpton. "We need to show love and respect to each other. We need to put pressure on the government and Mayor Bloomberg to deal with this. We need to stop this, and stop it now," he told the audience of supporters gathered at his National Actional Network's West 145th Street headquarters.
Shianne Normon, 27, whose son, Lloyd Morgan, Jr., was the second boy his father had lost to street violence, said she wanted to spare other parents from suffering as she was.
"I want to use use my son's name, Lloyd Morgan Jr., and my voice to to make sure something like this never happens again," she said. "It's senseless. I just want to know what happened."
Sharpton's rally was the second that brought members of communities beseiged by violence out to protest following the 4-year-old boy's death.
Morgan was the second youngster to be shot on a city playground in two weeks, after Isiah Roberts, 3, was sprayed by bullets in Brooklyn.
On Monday, more than 100 residents gathered in Morrisania, along with Council Speaker Christine Quinn, to speak out about the scourge of gun violence in communities of color.
"She is going to feel the pain for a long time," said Sharman Eromosele, 55, from the Bronx, speaking of Normon. "We have to stop this violence. Al Sharpton is our leader who can take us out of these dark, dark days."
Jacqueline Roberts, 27, who identified herself as Normon's best friend, said, "Shianne wants to thank everyone from every community in New York City for all the love and support she has got since she lost her little boy last week."