Saturday, 20 September 2008

Peace March London

* Over 10,000 marched to protest knife crime - Well done Guys Keep the pressure up!

"Thousands of people including families and friends of gun and knife crime victims have begun two peace marches across London to Hyde Park.

The first march began from Kennington Park, south London, while another began from Caledonian Road, north London.

Relatives of Damilola Taylor, killed in 2000, and Ben Kinsella, stabbed to death this year, are taking part.

The idea was started on Facebook by two London women. The marchers chanted "Stop the knives, save lives".

Onlookers clapped and some motorists beeped their horns in a show support.

On the eve of the march, a man in his 20s was stabbed to death outside a club in Brixton, south London.

Organisers hope that tens of thousands of people will take part in a bid to stop people from carrying knives.

Gary Trowsdale, special projects organiser for the Damilola Taylor Trust which organised the event, said the rally was about taking a stand against violence.

I don't think enough is being done to combat the situation and this is a good opportunity to show that we are not going to give up the fight
Ivette Bryon-Graham, mother of knife-crime victim

He told BBC News: "It all came about from a group of people on Facebook, just coming together, really, and crying out for change after the death of Ben Kinsella.

"It's more about the people who have decided enough is enough, and before it happens to someone in their family, they want to come together and make a stand.

"The fact is, if we can reach out to the good kids, and there are a lot more of them, and everybody can come together like this, then there is no reason why this epidemic can't be put behind us."

The idea for the People's March, originally started by Sharon Singh and Gemma Olway, both 26 and living in south west London, has received strong backing from several national newspapers.

As many as 40 families directly affected by knife violence are expected to attend.

Speaking on the BBC's Breakfast programme, Damilola Taylor's father Richard said: "What we feel the impact of today's march will be is to send a message to young people that enough is enough of these killings.

Damilola Taylor
Damilola Taylor's father has called for parents to take greater responsibility

"There are other ways by which you can sort out a fight rather than use a knife. We have had enough of this."

Mr Taylor also called for families to take greater responsibility for "guiding" their children.

Rosie Ogazi, whose 21-year-old brother Antony was murdered in Stockwell in May, will also be at the march.

She said: "Since my brother died I'd felt I had not been doing anything but now I feel like I'm doing something constructive.

"It makes me feel useful. It will be good to see that my brother's death has not been in vain."

Also attending the procession will be Ivette Bryon-Graham, whose son Javarie Crighton was stabbed to death in Peckham last year.

She said: "I've been blessed by the support of these people. I don't think I would have coped without it.

Speakers and music

"I don't think enough is being done to combat the situation and this is a good opportunity to show that we are not going to give up the fight.

"If we save just one person then that would be a good benefit."

The marchers will congregate in Hyde Park at 1330 BST for a rally including speakers and music.

Hundreds of people will also be taking part in another anti-gun and knife crime march in north-west London at midday.

The Not Another Drop march, which is in its fifth year, begins in Harlesden and ends in Wembley Stadium.

About 2,000 people are also expected to attend an anti-knife march in Inverclyde, Scotland."
This article is reproduced from BBC News 24

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