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Okay, enough really is enough now

by Lester Holloway

THE DRUG DEALERS were nowhere to be seen in Coldharbour Lane as thousands of Christians made a stand against gun violence.

When two or more [thousand] are gathered in His name…

The sounds of Brixton and Peckham rang with heartly-sung gospel instead of police sirens last night in an overwhelming show of opposition to gang warfare and gun violence.

It was a hastily organised “peace walk” which began life as an idea just a week ago. There were no placards, only Bibles.

No slogans, only praises and exhortations against guns every step of the two miles between Peckham Library and Windrush Square. People who didn't know each other hugged.

Several of the speakers reminded the audience / congregation this was just the start. Hallelulijah's can come easy in church but here, on the streets of Brixton, it seemed like the only suitable response.


Yet it felt like something was changing just being there. Gone were the “enough-is-enoughs”, heard so often after each tragedy. Instead, the passionate and authoritiative message was: “this madness WILL stop!”

Leadership: Pastor Nims Obunge (Peace Alliance) and Bishop John Francis (Ruach Ministries)

The fact that two of the recent victims of gun crime, 15-year-olds Billy Cox and Michael Dosunmu, had been shot inside their own homes added extra shock value to a problem that has been on the increase for years.

Earlier in the day, such tragedies appeared to have become a political football with Tony Blair holding a gun crime summit following extensive media coverage of the shootings, and Conservative leader David Cameron visiting Manchester to talk about the same issue.

'Police running in cars with guns will not solve the problem', Pastor Les Issac of the Ascention Trust, said yesterday. 'That is a short term business.'

'The government cannot just give us £2,000, a little money to do something for one year. It will not work. We have to be thinking about ten to fifteen years.


'They spend £1m on a bomb, but when its' dealing with Hackney, Lambeth, Harlesden, Moss Side, its' got to pump in millions.

Pastor Les Issac
Pastor Les Issac: We've got to be in for the long haul.

'But we have to come together. Pray together. Strategise together. Walk the streets together. Mentor together. Educate together. And as we do it, we will see change.'

Bishop John Francis of Ruach Ministries, who appeared to bring a sizable chunk of his flock onto the streets, added: 'We are here to be heard and say every madness and every violence in our community must stop!

'This is just the start. We've got stuff to do. We need to go out and let them know there is a church for them to change their lives around.'

Other speakers included: Bishop Wayne Malcolm, Pastor Nims Obunge (Peace Alliance), Lee Jasper (Chair, Trident Independent Advisory Group), Commander Leroy Logan (Hackney Police), Cheryl Sealey (supports victims families), Blacka Dread (son Solomon shot dead)


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