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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 October 2005, 18:37 GMT 19:37 UK
Grieving mother leads city march
By Arryn Moy
BBC Birmingham

Barbara Sawyers and Thelma Sinclair
Barbara Sawyers and Thelma Sinclair organised the march
One of the organisers of a peace march in Lozells, Birmingham already knows the high cost of gun crime.

Barbara Sawyers' son Daniel Bogle, 19, was fatally shot in 2003.

As she walked through the riot-torn area, she said she hoped the march would mend community rifts and help the city put on a brave face.

A weekend of rioting was said to have been sparked by a claim that a black girl of 14 had been raped by several Asian men.

A 23-year-old was stabbed to death by a group of up to 11 men on Saturday and a man was shot during trouble on Sunday.

It was against this backdrop that about 70 women and children began a vigil near to the church where rioting broke out on Saturday, following a community meeting to discuss the rumoured sex attack on the teenager.

Those people who say there's a race war on here are totally wrong
Salma Yaqoob
A heavy police presence in the area since the weekend seems to have helped restore calm.

But Ms Sawyers called on young people to come together to help solve the problems in their community.

She read out her own message to victim's parents and at the end of the march.

Daniel was shot from behind as he talked to friends on Drake Road, Smethwick, in 2003. He was shot once in the head and twice in the chest.

Daniel Bogle
Daniel Bogle was shot several times in 2003 and died several days later
His mother said Daniel's case was different to the weekend disturbances, but she knows the pain of losing a son in a tragedy.

She said: "We need to find out why they want to kill each other. We need to get to the root of all their problems.

"It is not the older ones, it is the teenagers and upwards. They are so angry. We need to find out why."

Ms Sawyers, added: "If you look at the riots it was all young people, there were no elderly people there."

Also helping to organise the event was her friend Thelma Sinclair, 48.

'Committed to peace'

She said: "We are a community who have lost people. There are two dead black men and we should remember there are still people in hospital.

"We have all come together, black and white and Asian to show we are united. People do not know the full facts about what happened this weekend.

"But this is about people coming together and showing we are a united community."

The women and children defiantly walked along Lozells Road, Hartington Road and Carlyle Road in wet weather.

Salma Yaqoob, who stood for the Respect Party at the general election, said: "We are here as mothers, wives, sisters and daughters who don't want our men, in the name of protecting us, to commit violence.

"We are committed to peace. Our children go to the same schools, the same shops. Those people who say there's a race war on here are totally wrong."




SEE ALSO:
In Pictures: Women on the March
26 Oct 05 |  In Pictures
Women march after city violence
26 Oct 05 |  West Midlands
Boy barred from brother's funeral
22 Sep 03 |  West Midlands
Shooting victim dies
23 Aug 03 |  West Midlands


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