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Marching for peace in Lozells
Women and children hold community vigil
Up to 70 black, white and Asian women and children united in Lozells to call for an end to violence after two deaths in recent violent clashes.
Women and children drew together to hold a peaceful vigil on the streets of Lozells.
Two minutes silence
The group walked through rain along Lozells Road to Carlyle Road where 23-year-old Isiah Young-Sam was fatally stabbed by a gang of 10 - 11 men. Police said he was an innocent victim and not involved in the rioting.
Carrying banners saying 'We Are One Community' and 'United in Grief, United in Peace', the women and children placed flowers on the spot where Mr Young-Sam was was killed, and held a two minute silence.
Among the group was Barbara Sawyers whose 19-year-old son Daniel Bogle was shot dead in Smethwick two year ago.
Barbara Sawyers read out a message of support to the family of Isiah Young-Sam saying, " I hope to God no other mother has to go through this."
Community activist Alliya Stennet helped hand out banners to the women, saying, "We are here for solidarity and are coming together in unity as a community.
"We’re here to help alleviate some of the tensions in the area and show a united a front.
"Poverty and inequality in this area has caused the situation these tensions have been here for a long time. There's a lack of funding and lack of opportunity in this area.
"The violence has had a detrimental effect on everyone from all community groups and all ethnic groups. The coming together of the community can only bring a more positive vibe.
Emma Sawyers and children
"The only way the community can move forward is by uniting and challenging inequalities in the system that cause deprivation. By coming together it shows a unity and together we can do it."
Emma Sawyers also stood alongside other women, "My sister phoned me about the vigil and to tell you the truth I was a bit hesitant – I thought there was going to be trouble but I was reassured it was going to be a peaceful protest – black women, Asian women, white women - all together.
Tyrell carries flowers
"I brought my three children and niece and nephew with me. I live in this area as a parent I'm concerned when a young black kid gets killed – for what? Racism and hatred has to stop and if me being here today is going to help then I am all for it."
Her son Tyrell carried flowers in memory of those who had lost their lives or were injured,
Mrs Yaqoob, Aisha and Zaida
"I really hope everything here will get back to being a happy place – it really makes me feel sad. I’ve brought the flowers for the people who died and I’m going to start praying."
Mrs Yaqub stood with friends Zaida and Aisha and said, "We are here to support the innocent brother who died. We are living like brothers and sisters anyway, white black, any colour, any nation. It's very very sad news. We are here for peace not troublemaking."
Sandra and Salma
Friends Sandra and Salma said, "We’re here in the spirit of unity to show people can come together. We’ve got great sadness over what happened in the last week or so. We want to support the people who are leaving here and the whole of Birmingham collectively needs to support the people here. We’re standing together on this.
"This affects everyone – just look at the people who have turned out - there are young and old, black and white, people from all walks of life who have come together on this issue, and hopefully we will work through this together."
Community figure Salma Yaqoob also brought her young children and said, "It's important for communities to come together and we want our streets to be safe. A lot of the violence ironically was carried out in the name of protecting women. We don’t want to be dived along race lines, or our men to be committing violence to protect us.
"A young man has been killed and we’ve brought flowers here today to lay at the place that he was killed, and we want to remember all the people that have been injured. Violence is not the way forward, challenging racism is the way forward."
Shabna came from Sparkhill to support the women of Lozells, "It's not just a Lozells issue it affects everybody in Birmingham. Communities here need to know that people of Birmingham do care because it affects each and everyone of us.
"It's not a culture or race issue either, we should have love and respect for one another. If we sit at home and be afraid people wont know how we feel. Don’t be scared come out, we should feel safe on our streets."
last updated: 06/08/2008 at 19:09
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