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1,000 youths march against knife crime

PROTEST: Young people march against knife crime

MORE THAN 1,000 young people, mainly VYG members from the Finsbury Park area and north London, gathered at the Rainbow Theatre on Seven Sisters Road on July 14, to march and speak out against knife and gun crime.

They were joined on their march by the parents of north London gun-crime victim Joseph Williams-Torres, who died just four months ago.

Catherine West, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, greeted the youths near the end of their protest at Ducketts Common Park, Wood Green, giving her support to their endeavours to fight this epidemic.

The march’s twin objectives were to further raise awareness of the deeply destructive nature of knife and gun crime, which is very much on the rise in London, and to promote the Victory Youth Group’s (VYG) Live Life Smart workshops.

Tony Williams, father of Joseph Williams-Torres spoke movingly about the way such crime affects the families of the perpetrators as much as it does to the families of young people who lose their lives in this way. His son was shot four times, for no apparent reason. “The pain does not get better,” he added.

Live Life Smart workshops will run on Wednesdays at 6pm, at all UCKG HelpCentres from 25 July to 8 August, and are free.

They will focus on youth to youth mentoring, in which youths who have given up their past involvement in knife and gun crime will be there to explain how they did it, and talk about better options for those who are still living that way.

Ade Titilawo, the VYG national leader said: “We will show what happens to young people in terms of gaining a criminal record or serving a prison sentence as a result of carrying a knife or gun. Neither will we shy away from showing the damage knife crime can inflict on the human body.

"We will always end each session by letting youths know that the power of their faith is what will help them to remain strong, and give a blessing to those who choose to have it.”

The march was preceded a dynamic hour of cases studies and performance around the subject, in which former gang members and supporters told their stories and how life had become so much better since they changed their lifestyles.

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