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Organizers Plan Day of Silence For Victims of Bed-Stuy Gun Violence

 Angel Rojas, who was shot to death on a B15 bus last week, is one of the victims being honored at next week's "Silent Day of Recognition."
Angel Rojas, who was shot to death on a B15 bus last week, is one of the victims being honored at next week's "Silent Day of Recognition."
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BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Local community groups will hold a silent memorial to honor the victims of gun violence next week in Bed-Stuy.

Dubbed "A Silent Day of Recognition," the April 5 event will recognize people who have been killed by guns with a day-long event in Herbert Von King Park in which volunteers will read the names of victims while onlookers observe in silence, organizers said.

"It's about all of us coming together and witnessing this in a very personal way," said organizer Greg Snyder. "Read names, hear the stories of people who have been affected by gun violence and sit in silence."

Starting at 10 a.m. at the park's amphitheater, a group of children and teens will read the victims' names, submitted by friends and families through a website. The groups are also inviting people to share stories of the victims' lives.

Snyder, who is the executive director of a meditation center called the Brooklyn Zen Center in Park Slope, said his group will offer emotional support through meditation services throughout the day.

The idea for the event came from Snyder and DIVAS for Social Justice founder Clarisa James, who had worked together at an after school program at Thomas Jefferson High School in East New York.

After hearing gun violence stories from students, the two worried that the issue was becoming normalized in society.

"We live in a country where violence is deeply OK, and that's the part that's problematic," Snyder said. "Why are we continuing to accept this?"

After joining up with the central Brooklyn chapter of Organizing for Action, the coalition decided to honor those who have passed and started their outreach.

One of the names that has already been submitted is that of Angel Rojas, James said.

Rojas, 39, was shot to death on a B15 bus last week as he was heading home to see his two children, police said. 

The alleged shooter, Kahton Anderson, is a 14-year-old gang member, according to the NYPD.

Eventually the coalition said it wants to expand its mission to include community dinners in which families, politicians and activists can sit down to talk about the root causes of the violence.

But for now, organizers said they're focused on remembering those who have already been killed.

"It isn't about political speeches," James said. "It's about honoring the people we've lost in central Brooklyn and in the city to gun violence."

"A Day of Silent Recognition" will be held on April 5 in Herbert Von King Park, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Click here to submit the name of someone killed by gun violence.