Around 130 people gathered in Mitcham, south London, last Saturday, for a discussion and cultural event that addressed the issue of gun and knife crime.
This year has so far seen the deaths of six teenagers in south London from gun and knife crime.
The meeting was organised by the families of local victims, community campaigners and Left List members.
Those attending the event represented a cross section of the community. Suresh Grover, a civil rights solicitor who was involved in the campaign for justice for Stephen Lawrence, chaired the event.
Speakers included local student and activist Alexander Rose and Brixton based reggae producer Blacka Dread. There was also an electrifying performance from local poet Josephine “Realitie” Rollings.
This was followed by a lively debate from the floor. The majority of contributions raised the need for better recreational facilities, training and job opportunities for young people in order to provide hope.
Organisers hope to hold future events to ensure that the debate is centred around real solutions instead of knee-jerk, authoritarian “law and order” responses.