Burying our future: Anti-gun violence activists to bring coffins through Manhattan

NAYABA ARINDE Amsterdam News Editor | 11/8/2011, 2:14 p.m.

On Saturday, five caskets will be carried over the Brooklyn Bridge in a silent march to highlight the senseless gun violence in the inner city.

"The caskets symbolize the deaths in the inner city from gunfire," said A.T. Mitchell, founder and CEO of Man Up Inc. and operator of Operation SNUG/CeaseFire East New York.

"In this case, we are targeting Wall Street and corporate greed-the 1 percent. We are saying they take our money as consumers. but they don't give anything back. They don't invest in the inner city, they don't provide job opportunities or money for programs or services. These corporations and bankers do not reinvest in the people whose money they take every day. They don't value the lives behind the dollars they take.

"We're going to stop by Occupy Wall Street, but there we will be speaking to the choir. We'll be marching all the way to Bowling Green to the bull-their symbol of greed."

In a moving ceremony last weekend, Zurana Horton was laid to rest.

The Rev. Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy for "the heroic mother of 12 who was sprayed by bullets as she protected her children from being shot by gang members."

"People are making profit off of our self-destruction," boomed Sharpton. "I don't care how bad it is-there's no excuse for us to be killing each other."

In a culture that prizes gangsters over hardworking, everyday people, the president of the National Action Network added, "It is a wicked thing to make our children feel that they are worthless unless they can bang bang shoot-'em-up."

The funeral, the wake and the repast for Horton were held on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Bed-Stuy.

As Horton's 12 children sat in the center of the front two pews, friends and family members came to pay their respects to grandparents Keith and Denise Peace Horton and other mourners.

Sharpton expressed disgust at the fact that Horton's home was ransacked after her murder and at last week's news that eight NYPD officers were charged with gun running in addition to the 16 cops who were indicted in a ticket-fixing scam. Of the 300 cops who came out to support them to "demand they had a right to do it," Sharpton said, "We are under siege by the cops and the robbers."

While Police Commissioner Ray Kelly came through, sitting in the pews were Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, State Sen. John L. Sampson, City Comptroller John Liu, Assembly members Inez Barron and Thomas Boyland and Council members Charles Barron, Jumaane D. Williams and Darlene Mealy.

Clergy members on the dais included the Revs. Herbert Daughtry, Dr. Lawrence Acker and Stephanie Bethea and Min. Kirsten Foy, who presided over the service.

Russell Simmons bought outfits for Horton's children, six boys and six girls, and Al Mathieu from Black Success Unisex salon cut the boys' hair.

Enough with the lip service of tackling the problem, activists say.

"With all the snitching and police infiltration going on, are they really wanting us to believe that all these top-level police investigators don't know who is dealing guns in the inner city?" asked Charles Barron. "'If you see something, say something' should also apply to police officers who see criminality in their fellow officers. If they caught those eight officers running guns and drugs up and through our communities, you know there are a hundred more doing it."