Socialist Worker

Gun and knife crime campaign targets the poverty behind youth crime

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2073

On the march against gun and knife crime in north London last Sunday (Pic:» Guy Smallman )

On the march against gun and knife crime in north London last Sunday (Pic: » Guy Smallman)

Over 120 people took to the streets of north London last Sunday against the gun and knife crime that has blighted so many young lives over the last few months.

The march, organised by the Communities Against Gun and Knife Crime organisation, aimed to target the issues behind crime and campaign for better resources for young people. It received a great response from passers-by.

A number of participants had been affected by gun and knife crime.

Angela Brookes told Socialist Worker, “I lost my sister to gun crime over eight years ago. My son has a muscle wasting disease, and I don’t think young people should be taking lives while he is fighting for his.

“Young people’s voices should be heard. They are the future.”

Danny Bryan, one of the organisers of the march, said, “Too many young black people are being shot and killed. The black community is scared and we need to take action.

“We want to wake up the community and do positive things over education, employment and mentoring. Youth aren’t born as gunmen. We’re going to go into schools to work with students.”

Cathy O’Leary, a local youth worker, said at a rally at the end of the march, “Britain is a rich country. Why are our young people so isolated and alienated?

“Young people are not to blame for what’s going on in our society. The wealth isn’t going into our housing estates and youth clubs. We need to get the attention of the government and the council.”

Gary McFarlane, a Respect member involved in the campaign, said, “We live in an unequal society. There is no money for education but billions for blowing up schools in Iraq. This march is about what we’re for – money in the community, proper education, real black history.

“This is the beginning of the campaign. We are going to take direct action to win our demands, sit-ins to demand funding for the courses that used to exist.”

Campaigners were meeting this week to discuss the next stage in the campaign.

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Article information

Tue 16 Oct 2007, 18:12 BST
Issue No. 2073
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