Long Branch: The Long Branch NAACP held a rally to call local attention to the Trayvon Martin murder case in Florida and to advocate for a local need to “Not be silent” about bias and related violence in our communities.
Long Branch NAACP President Bill Dangler said “It is time to speak out, to not be silent, to stop the violence” and the social injustice that has been in the country, the state’s cities and in Long Branch and its neighbors in Neptune, Red Bank and Asbury Park. “Our community must not be silent.” Standing at the podium in Second Baptist he said the church is a good place to start.
He called for partnership among the members and groups of the community, “To get things done, and working right.” “There is violence in our community,” he said. He said there needs to be strategy that makes sense. He said all must talk about the issues among themselves and with the community and the authorities.
Moderator David A. Brown said the rally was to support Trayvon Martin, but the conditions in Florida where Martin was killed are similar to that elsewhere. He said, “We must stay focused on the issues.” He encouraged all to exercise their voices in the ballot box at the elections. The politicians must understand the issues that were part of Trayvon Martin’s world as well.
Freeholder John Curley said he represents “all” 665,000 people in the county and not just a few and encouraged the audience to keep their officials and police informed when things are not right.
Mayor Adam Schneider took issue with the “Stand your ground “ law in Florida and elsewhere that was behind the conditions that resulted on Trayvon Martins death. He said people should not walk around with guns nor should there be a law such as this.
School Superintendent Michael Salvatore said it is important to be ever on guard, because “Life can be changed forever” in a brief moment. He said this incident has moved many people, as does any event like this that harms children. He said we should be most cautious with children’s well-being and safety, as well as set examples by doing the right things. “Let’s do this together as a community.” He said.
Others who spoke: Rev. Cuff, Rev. Gibson, Asbury Park / Neptune NAACP Pres. Howard West and LB Middle School Principal Don Covin who said “Stand your ground” for what’s right, not for violence and guns.