Residents of Queens refuse to take crime in stride.
Dozens of New Yorkers gathered in front of Baisley Park in Rochdale to participate in the first of many prayer walks over the summer. The walks are intended to help end violence.
Residents from all over the city participated in the program, headed by Reverend Phil Craig of the Greater Springfield Community Church as well as politicians and organizations including the Women’s Committee of the National Action Network and the NYPD’s Explorer program.
“We’re going to make this at least an annual event,” Craig said at the Saturday, July 13 rally. “I think this is a really good thing for the community and the community agrees. We’re going to walk around this entire complex and pray for peace.”
“There’s too much killing and prostitution,” he added. “We’re gathering here so that we can get Jesus into our communities and get the enemy out.”
Saturday’s walk went through Rochdale Village, which Craig explained has seen a high amount of drug-related activity along with prostitution and robberies.
Councilmember and public advocate candidate Letitia James also participated in the walk. She came from a similar event in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
“If you want to change your life and the lives of others today, then march,” she told the attendees. “March on behalf of children and their mothers. March on behalf of schools, and march so that little boys and girls can know that they can one day be the next president of the borough of Queens, or the United States.”
The prayer walks are open to all. No RSVP is required. More information can be found at the Greater Springfield Church’s website, www.greaterspringfieldchurch.org/nan.html.