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Vigil calls for peace in borough and country

Jovan Richards, the chairman for the New York Young Democrats Caucus of Color, speaks at a Vigil for Peace held by the Queens County Young Democrats in Rufus King Park in Jamaica.
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Pastor Rimsky Toussaint of Tabernacle of Glory in St. Albans stood before an assembled crowd of mourners gathered at the rear of the King Manor Museum in Rufus King Park in downtown Jamaica Tuesday evening. The crowd held thin white candles, cupping their hands around the wick to shield the flames from the wind.

The crowd was assembled to mark the tragedies of the past week, including the police shootings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota, as well as the murder of five police officers in Dallas.

“We know the devil is at work,” Toussaint said, the heads of the crowd bowed in prayer. “And we know that all that can stop him is intercessi­ons.”

The Queens County Young Democrats had organized the vigil in short order as a place for Queens residents to express the sadness and anger that the brutality of the previous week had stirred. Franck Joseph, a youth minister and community advocate, helped to organize the vigil and guided the ceremony. He expressed his grief over the futility of violence by drawing an analogy to the Biblical story of Cain, who killed his brother Abel.

“Cain is forever marked. And when we act out of hate, we are forever marked,” he said, and noted that Queens needed to draw strength from its diversity to act as a beacon for other damaged communities. “Queens needs to be a model for the rest of the United States.”

The crowd grew in numbers as the evening progressed. In addition to community and faith leaders, elected officials such as Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest), state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-Hollis), state Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman (D-Springfield Gardens) and Public Advocate Letitia James were in attendance. James told the crowd in her brief remarks that the violence should not sway the forward momentum of progress for all communities.

“Though these violent acts may seem decisive or final, we can dictate the terms of our common future,” she said. “Our fight to support police officers and our fight for civil rights are not mutually exclusive.”

Comrie spoke about the need to return to a more “prayerful community.”

“We need to communicate and be honest with each other,” he said. “We are all leaders in our own right. The fact that you’re here tonight means you’re a leader.”

Many at the vigil stressed the need for continued action and engagement, in addition to remembering the dead and injured.

“When you go home tonight, your goal tomorrow should be to make things better for the next person,” Hyndman said in her brief remarks.

Nantasha Williams, who is running in the race for the late Barbara Clark’s vacant state Assembly seat, spoke about the need to stay involved.

“My hope is more people will be more involved in community engagement,” she said. “I think we cannot go back to normal the next week.”

Joseph echoed these concerns. He said that many point to legendary civil rights figures and question where those figures are today. He said the direct comparison was misguided.

“All those great leaders, they were never by themselves,” he said, stressing the need for people to become involved. “It is your duty as a human being. It is your duty to be there in the trenches. We are the people we were looking for.”

Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdonachie@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

Updated 12:47 pm, July 14, 2016
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Reader feedback

Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
The Queens County Young Democrats had organized a vigil in short order as a place for Queens residents to express the sadness and anger that the brutality of the previous week had stirred. YET useless clown elected officials and leaders like Senator Leroy Comrie, Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman and that total waste of tax payer’s money, Public Advocate Letitia James and of course “church leaders” made sure they made an appearance to show “they care”, even though many of them have do nothing to deal with major quality of life issues in this community which has caused deterioration and leads to violence and crime in such communities. Typical do nothing elected officials.

That waste Comrie had this to say:

Comrie spoke about the need to return to a more “prayerful community.” “We need to communicate and be honest with each other,” he said. “We are all leaders in our own right. The fact that you’re here tonight means you’re a leader.”

NO COMRIE, you are NOT A LEADER, far from it. You have done nothing to help improve this community and help with the horrible quality of life that exists but which you and your crew keep ignoring.

The newest do nothing Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman had this to say: “When you go home tonight, your goal tomorrow should be to make things better for the next person,” Hyndman said in her brief remarks.

Maybe you Hyndman and all your do nothing and crooked Southeast Queens politicians should take heed of your own remark.

But next week, it will be business as usual. Elected officials, community and church leaders of this community doing nothing, ignoring the quality of life issues, in other words same old crappy garbage strewn community with no pride.

Enough to make you throw up your internal organs.

https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/
July 14, 2016, 5:38 am
Lou from Bayside says:
Right across the street from this vigil is the applicant processing dvision for the NYPD. Reject officers are assigned there as a form of punishment. Herein lies the problem, you have reject,degenerate officers approving new recruits. Perhaps this practice should be stopped!
July 14, 2016, 6:08 am
vigils are feel good times but useless from Queens says:
Each time we have a vigil it makes people feel good but nothing changes. We need to have gun laws that are the same for all 50 states and US territories. No guns of any kind for non-citizens, mentally ill, convicted felons. Registration periodically to weed out those too old or too medicated to be trusted with a deadly weapon. Not unlike driving laws. Sue the NRA every time their is a gun death tied to someone who never should have been allowed to have a gun.
July 14, 2016, 9:18 am
Asgaard from Valhalla says:
I wonder if Jovan Richards, the 'chairman for the New York Young Democrats Caucus of Color', and the rest of the NYC Democrat hack leadership that showed up for this, had the 'courage' (in contrast to the claim by ex-Atty Gen Holder that 'America is a nation of cowards') to actually begin the REAL 'race conversation' that is desperately needed in 'communities of color'.
Rather than the idiotic suggestion above of 'suing the NRA' everytime 'gun-violence' occurs', everyone who claims to give a damn about Black Lives needs to read what this scholar has to say.
'Trigger Warning': to the liberal Democratic 'leadership' that have made good, long careers for themselves by soaking in victimhood and blame, and now seek to raise the new generation in the same, damn lies, the following article had many 'hate facts' and 'hate statistics', which is what the TRUTH is called these days by the Marxists in the street and the White House.
Maybe these 'leaders' in these 'communities' can start confronting themselves and their constituents with reality: http://walterewilliams.com/challenges-for-black-people/
July 14, 2016, 1:58 pm
Barbara says:
Earn cash in doing Emini S&P trading the easiest way and learning the correct strategies of how to do it. Google Emini S&P Trading Secret.
July 15, 2016, 2:48 am

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