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Edmonton peace march draws hundreds despite wet weather
Hundreds of anti-knife crime campaigners braved the heavy rain to march through Edmonton on Saturday.
Two hundred activists carried banners and chanted on the Schools Against Violence in Enfield march from Fore Street to Latymer All Saints Primary School in Hydethorpe Avenue. The event was organised by the Young Soldiers group, which is run by Pastor Pat Agdomar.
MPs Nick de Bois and David Burrowes joined Deputy Mayor of Enfield, Councillor Kate Anolue, independent Mayor of London candidate Siobhan Benita, faith groups and schoolchildren to stop at places where teenagers had lost their lives, including where Negus McClean, a 15-year-old pupil at Edmonton County School, was murdered last April.
The pastor, who has worked as a minister with the Edmonton-based Glory of the Cross for more than 30 years, said the event was “an amazing success”.
He said: “I’m just so pleased that so many people were committed to this and came out despite the rain – imagine how many people would have come on a sunny day.
“The businesses in Edmonton told me that they want to see this more often, because some of them are living in fear and they want to hear the message of peace.
“We are telling the children that we want to be living in a society where they are safe and can excel to their potential rather than joining gangs. They went ‘wow’ when they saw how many people were marching on their behalf.”
The day ended with anti-gang workshops at Latymer All Saints Primary School, where the Young Soldiers group worked with teenagers to show them the consequences of carrying knives and joining gangs.
Last year, the murder of Negus McClean, 14-year-old Leroy James and student Steven Grisales prompted a successful Enfield Independent campaign for tougher sentences for 16 and 17-year-olds who threaten others with a knife. Mr Agdomar says he wants to avoid a repeat of the violence this year.
Mr de Bois said he was “really pleased” to see so many people on the march despite the bad weather.
He added: “The message I take from it is that people want to defend their community against the obscenity of knife crime, and I know it’s important that the Government and councils listen carefully to what those same people have to say and what they can do to help.
“It’s the people living on the frontline who know people who have been affected by knife crime and are best placed to beat this scourge.”