Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Saturday, 7 June 2008 17:29 UK

Thousands join anti-knife march

Anti-knife and gun crime protest
Relatives of teenagers killed in London also joined the march

At least 2,000 people, including many teenagers, have joined an anti-gun and knife crime march through London.

The demonstrators began their walk from Trafalgar Square on Saturday afternoon which culminated in a rally at Kennington Park, south London.

The march, which urged youths to keep off weapons, comes following the deaths of 16 teenagers in London this year.

Relatives of youths killed in London also joined the rally. They described the spate of crimes as an "epidemic".

'Love and forgive'

The group cheered, whistled, waved banners and sang to the beats of a marching band as they walked.

Many demonstrators carried banners with 'Spread love not bullets' and 'Say no to guns, knives, drugs' written on them.

Organiser Colin Stewart from Seventh-day Adventist Church said the walk hoped to "find out where people are hurting, and to offer an alternative".

Anti-knife and gun crime protest
The campaigners urged youths to keep away from weapons

Among the protesters was Rosie Ogazi, the sister of Anthony Ogazi, 21, who was fatally stabbed in south London in May.

Wearing a T-shirt with a picture of her brother she said: "It's like an epidemic that has spread.

"What has happened to me is going to happen to someone else, and eventually it's going to be you."

Mark Prince, the father of 15-year-old Kiyan who was stabbed to death in 2006, addressed the crowd: "I want to love and I want to forgive.

"If it means I have to forgive the guy who killed my son, then that's exactly what I'm going to do."

The campaigners were to have been addressed by anti-gun campaigner Pat Regan - she was stabbed to death in Leeds on Wednesday.

Faces of youths killed were projected on to a big screen which ended with the message 'The price of dying is too high, it's time to live'.




SEE ALSO
Brown meets police on knife crime
05 Jun 08 |  UK Politics

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