The Bronx Park East Community Association is sick of crime infiltrating their neighborhood.
In response to gun shots fired last Monday, they will be hosting community marches each Saturday throughout the month of March.
The ‘March Against Crime’ walks will consist of neighbors, friends, and newcomers who want to not only take a stand against rising violence in the area, but also add something valuable to the community - positive energy.
Raphael Schweizer, co-founder and chairperson of B-PECA, says the idea for the action came after shots were fired at 11 p.m. last Monday at Bronx Park East near Waring Ave.
“That was the last straw,” said Schweizer, who has lived in the area his entire life. “My group will not stand by when gun shots are fired. When one shot is fired that means one person could be killed,” he continued.
Unfortunately, the shooting was just one of many violent incidents that have occurred lately.
“I don’t just want to go around shouting stop the crime, I want to bring people together in a positive atmosphere,” said Schweizer of the positive vibes he comes the marches will bring. “You can light all the candles you want, but we want to provide an alternative”.
Each march begins with motivational music - last week it was a piece from ‘Rocky’.
Pastor Jay Gooding will lead the group in a prayer this week. Following the warm up, the group will zigzag through the Allerton Avenue, Pelham Parkway, and Van Nest neighborhoods chanting: “Whose streets? Our Streets! Whose Park? Our Park! Who Are We? Bronx Park East!”
“The Power of Positivity is great,” said Schweizer, admitting that he borrowed the slogan from a wrestling tag team.
The 49th Precinct, which supports the marches, will also be present at each walk.
“It’s a very positive thing they are trying to do, it’s great to see the community stand together” said David Lepore, of the 49th Precinct. “They want to be able to raise kids and walk their dogs in the area, and they are fed up.”
Each walk will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday and conclude at 4 p.m.
Hot coffee and bagels will be provided by the Pakistani Community Council.