Story: Jawahir Said & Lisa Swift
Photos: Lesley Boulton
Marchers gathered at Osgathorpe Park on 15th March, where Ibrahim Ilyas was shot in June 2006, to demonstrate against gun crime and for a better future for young people.
Inderjit Bhogal led prayers saying, “Let us not judge ourselves by how we are portrayed and what others say about us, but by the very best values, and traditions and people among us. Burngreave… Be proud as a community.”
The sound of the Seventh Day Adventist’s Pathfinders drumming band filled the streets and raised spirits, as the march walked to Scott Road. On reaching the cemetery gates, the marchers remembered Younis Khan, who was shot there in March 2007.
Mrs Tizeta-Powell told us, “I have lived on Scott Road since 1962. I heard the drums and the march going past my house, I just put my shopping down and joined in. I have grandchildren, I want them to grow up in a peaceful environment.”
The growing march, now of 250-300 people, continued to Nottingham Cliffe Park, where Jonathan Matondo was remembered with words from his uncle and a friend.
Rose Ardron told the Messenger, “I came on the march today because I live in the area and I care very much about it and about the young people here. We need to value the positive things they do.”
John Mellor said, “My children have been to school here. This march is a way to show that we are together as a community.” Then with banners held high, and flanked by our local police, marchers took their message to the town hall, stopping traffic on the Wicker and through the City Centre.
On the Town Hall steps there were songs and speeches. Burngreave’s Youth Councillor Farhan Ahmed spoke about how young people felt unsupported by their peers, “At our office on Verdon Street, we will work together to provide mentors – but most of all a listening ear.”
Pastor Andrew Rashford Hewitt finished by saying, “We must be bold enough and brave enough to say to those who carry guns, ‘Put them down’.”