‘1000-man march’ to protest violence

2015-07-21 06:00
Paul Phillips  

Chevon Booysen

Paul Phillips PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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An emergency meeting has been held by religious leaders in Parkwood after a spate of killings in the area.

According to Voice of Parkwood chairperson Paul Phillips the meeting was necessary as “things cannot go on like this”.

“We need a plan of action and we need it urgently. we are losing our youth in senseless killings,” Phillips says.

Two weeks ago two men were shot and killed a day apart. Residents are adamant that the victims were not gangsters, despite police confirming the shootings were both gang-related (“Two youth killed in shootings”, People’s Post, 14 July).

Phillips says after the successful meeting on Tuesday last week they are planning a mass march by community members to call attention to their hope to stop gang violence in the area.

“We plan to mobilise our community and hope to host a ‘thousand man march’. It will be held on Sunday 9 August and we really hope to get more than 1000 people involved,” he says.

According to Phillips religious leaders in the area are rallying behind the cause.

“We have decided that we are going beyond provincial level and now want the national government to hear our plight. We are sick and tired of the killings in our area,” Phillips stresses.

In an added effort to curb shootings in the area, Phillips says religious leaders will also approach gang leaders in the area to create a communication platform.

“We always hear the bosses saying they never get a chance to be heard out but now we are creating that platform for them. We will give them an ear and listen to their issues as well. However, we will not be negotiating with them,” he says.

Phillips says after speaking to various gang leaders in the weeks leading up to the march they plan to promise that if criminals continue to threaten the lives of the innocent and the wider community, they will give gang leaders no option but to leave the community.

“We want them to understand that we want our neighbourhoods safe. We are taking our communities back,” he concludes. V

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