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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 October 2005, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK
Women march after city violence
Lozells march
Women came together for the march through Lozells
Up to 70 women and children took part in a march to call for positive action after two deaths during violent clashes in Birmingham.

The peaceful demonstration took place in the Lozells Road area - the scene of disturbances at the weekend.

They marched from Heathfield Road to Carlyle Road, where Isiah Young-Sam, 23, was stabbed to death on Saturday.

The women said they wanted to send a message that black, white and Asian people in the area were united.

'Birmingham-wide problem'

They walked through the rain carrying placards which read United in Grief, United For Peace and We Are One Community.

Shoppers and workers stood back to let the group, escorted by pedestrian police officers, pass by.

Flowers were laid in Carlyle Road after a two-minute silence, and a message of support was read out for the family of Mr Young-Sam.

Shabnam Gulzar, 22, from Sparkbrook, said: "This is not just a Lozells problem, it is a Birmingham-wide problem.

"We are one community coming together and we want to work together."

Delores Pinkney

Delores Pinkney, who lives nearby, said: "My family have lived in Leonard Road for more than 50 years.

"We, all of us, have to co-exist here. We have done it before.

"I am so angry, so very very angry at what has happened. People are asking, why, why, why has this happened?

"The government talks about money being poured into this area, but where has it gone?"

Alison Thorne, 62, from Handsworth works with asylum seekers, said: "We are all one people and one community.

"It might have rained today but nothing can dampen our enthusiasm."

The weekend trouble stemmed from rumours of the alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl at a beauty shop in the area.

Alliya Stennett, the organiser of the march, said it was a time to share grief "before uniting to forge solutions".

'Underlying causes'

On Sunday Aaron James, 18, was shot dead less than a mile from the scene of the rioting in Melbourne Avenue, Newtown.

Two men arrested in connection with the death of Mr James have since been freed without charge.

A police officer is still in hospital after he was shot in the leg on Saturday evening.

On Wednesday, Khalid Mahmood, MP for Perry Barr, paid tribute to the emergency services and praised the community for trying to stay united.

Speaking in the House of Commons he praised "all those members of the community who have not been easily taken in by a small number of the criminal element who want to seek to divide the community and have not been successful."

Poor conditions

But Ms Stennett said the government had to start paying attention to inner-city areas.

"You just look have to look around at all the people here, you just have to go into the hospitals and look at the poor conditions, the poor pay and understaffing.

"And teachers are doing their best but with poor facilities. It is a very hard struggle."

After the march a meeting will be held in Winson Green.

Ms Stennett said: "This meeting will discuss the underlying causes of the tensions in the area and will discuss ways in which we can move together against the neglect and deprivation that all sections of the community face."

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