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Black churches march against guns

by Lester Holloway
21/2/2007

CHRISTIAN LEADERS will take to the streets in protest at the spate of gun murders tomorrow.

cap
Black churches are taking a stand against gun crime

Tomorrow (Thursday 22nd February) Britain's biggest black-majority church pastors plan to lead a march through south London to take a stand against the gang warfare.

Thousands are expected to join the 'Prayer March', which will travel from Peckham to Brixton and has been organised by the Peace Alliance with support from London Mayor Ken Livingstone.

Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, Bishops Wayne Malcolm and John Francis, and their congregations, are expected to join Lee Jasper and members of the Black Police Association on the streets.

The move follows the high-profile shootings of 15-year-olds Billy Cox and Michael Dosunmu in their own homes, and 16-year-old James Andre Smartt-Ford at an ice-rink.

Demo organisers held an emergency meeting at the Mayors Office on Saturday and put the final touches to the event last night. The peaceful protest is expected to include a candlelight vigil.

Pastor Nims Obunge, of the Peace Alliance, said: “Drugs and guns are a menace to our society. We all need to work together with criminal justice agencies to help vulnerable young people and keep guns off the street.”

Pastor Les Isaac, Director of the Ascension Trust Street Pastors Initiative, added: “Parents have spoken to us about young people going to school wearing bullet-proof vests.

“I’m walking because there is an expectation that the church should do something – should stand with those who are mourning. They should also find a solution, a way forward to get our young people out of this quagmire.”

Lee Jasper, chair of Trident's Independent Advisory Group, said: 'The Mayors Office applauds the response of majority black churches to the spate of murders of teenagers in South London.

This Prayer Walk will demonstrate the total ahorence of the the vast majority of black Londoners to gun violence. Our children need to see we care.

Please join the Prayer March on: Thursday 22nd February, at 5pm. Meet at Peckham Library, Peckham High Street.

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