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Saturday, 17 August, 2002, 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK
Gun crime rally called off
Rally in Brixton
Several hundred people at the Pan African rally
A rival rally has forced organisers to call off a march against the twin problems of gun crime and crack cocaine in south London.

Church leaders and politicians had been due to join the Reclaiming our Community demonstration in Brixton.

But dozens of people were also staging a rally in the same area which they said was organised by Pan Africanists.

Organisers of the march against gun crime decided to call it off in the interests of public order.


It was a sensible move to call off the demonstration because there would have been public order issues

Chief Supt Martin Greenslade

Lee Jasper, Mayor Ken Livingstone's senior race relations adviser and one of the organisers, decided to cancel it after finding the rival group had not dispersed.

The organisers of the gun crime march, the Trident Independent Advisory Group (TIAG), had said their aim was to "reject the presence of crack dealers and gunmen on our streets".

Chief Superintendant Martin Greenslade of the Metropolitan Police said: "It was a sensible move to call off the demonstration because there would have been public order issues if two of protests had gone ahead in the same place."

During the 20th century, the Pan African movement sought greater unity within Africa and the elimination of colonialism.

TIAG is made up of local community representatives and Lambeth police liaison officers advising Operation Trident - a police unit dealing with violence in the black community.

Twenty shootings

Saturday's anti-crack cocaine rally was organised as police are trying to tackle the problem of crack cocaine dealing in the borough with an eight-month special operation.

Twelve raids a week are planned on crack houses in the borough as well putting more officers on the beat in the town centre to tackle the dealers.

The eight-month operation has also involved covert operations, CCTV monitoring and the setting up of mobile police stations.

July was also the worst ever month for shootings in the capital with 20 people shot and five deaths - most of the shootings were drug-related.


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