This is Our Neighborhood, This is Our Brooklyn
September 14, 2011 10:02 PM - InsertSnappyNameHere
Tonight I went to the Take Back Our Streets Rally to mark the community’s outrage against the rash of attempted rapes in Greenwood Heights and Park Slope. We met at 8pm outside the Prospect Avenue ‘R’ Station. Hundreds of men, women, teenagers and children gathered wielding flashlights, glow sticks and signs. It was, in a word, amazing. I have never before felt such a strong community presence and unity over an issue. I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 12 years, but I didn’t know these people. Still, these were not strangers. These were my neighbors. And we all got together to let each other and the City at large know that we will not be too afraid to help each other. We will not be too afraid to call 911 if we see something or someone suspicious. We will not tolerate this type of violence in our neighborhood.

Feeling powerful as an individual and as a part of a large crowd, I marched down the middle of the street with all my neighbors and shouted the slogans at the top of my lungs. I was sweating profusely, even panting at times, but I didn’t care. I was a strong voice among many strong voices, and it felt damn good.

“NO MORE SILENCE, NO MORE VIOLENCE!”

That was one of the many phrases we shouted. Several times while chanting this, I choked up, fighting off tears that threatened to overcome me. I was taken over by emotion of the unity and power of the crowd. I felt strong. I felt safe. As a former victim of sexual assault, the “NO MORE SILENCE” part of the chant really resonated with me. I stayed silent for many years about what happened to me, but I eventually found my voice. I can only pray that others find their voice as well - that they aren’t too afraid or ashamed to speak out and say ”NO MORE SILENCE, NO MORE VIOLENCE.”

Tonight, my neighbors and I said that we would not tolerate a culture of violence and fear. This is our neighborhood. This is our Brooklyn. We won't let this drive us out of here. Instead, Mr. Rapist(s), it is you who needs to get the fuck out.

10 comments
September 14, 2011 11:13 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
GO SNAPPY! there is supposedly more than one person doing this in the neighborhood no? very scary, but this kind of presence is a good thing. weird, it is very much like a take back the night rally that is held on college campuses across the country every year, back when i was in school (rutgers in nj in the late 90s) men werent allowed (or STRONGLY encourgaged not to attend the take back the night rallies). i guess it's a little different, think those rallies were more about rape victims expressing their voices maybe? glad to see this was attended by people of all different genders.

*rob*

#1
September 14, 2011 11:14 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
might send a bit sexist, but i think having men in these kinds of rallies and protests actually sends a stronger message than female only rallies.

*rob*

#2
September 14, 2011 11:31 PM - Townhouselady
Go Snappy Go!! Saw you on Ch. 2 news tonight. I yelled out to my husband- OMG That's Snappy! Also spotted M.M.


#3
September 15, 2011 6:50 AM - BoerumHillScott
Snappy, you rock!
#4
September 15, 2011 7:34 AM - DeadCatBounce
Agree with everybody. Except I have never heard of men being discouraged from taking part in something like this.
Edited at September 15, 2011 7:34 AM
#5
September 15, 2011 7:50 AM - Donatella
Good for you, Snappy!!!!!!!! Good foryou. I am so glad that you went, to lend your voice to neighborhood's rejection of this violence and fear. And good for you having a feeling of power and healing from your own terrible experience.
Edited at September 15, 2011 7:50 AM
#6
September 15, 2011 8:20 AM - Arkady
Activist lawyer! HooRAY!!
#7
September 15, 2011 10:38 AM - Deleted
Snappy;

A close friend of mine was also sexually assaulted and I witnessed the devastation it brought on her for some time. Kudos to you for joining this rally and sharing this with us.
#8
September 15, 2011 6:53 PM - cobblehiller
You're awesome, Snaps! I wish I hadn't been so absorbed in my little world here, and could have joined you all! There is tremendous power in speaking out, I've felt it myself at times. Kudos to you and the others that participated, took action, and SPOKE OUT!
#9
September 17, 2011 10:31 AM - MontroseMorris
Snappy, that was powerful and poignant. Thank you for sharing this, as well as for getting out in the streets and making your voice heard. It is a great thing to not take whatever comes along, but to make your voice heard.

THL, my twin must be out there, because I wasn't, except in spirit. (I don't have one) Nice to be thought of, though!
Edited at September 17, 2011 10:31 AM
#10