Beacon Valley residents have stood up for a different cause during the 16 Days of Activism campaign.
This time they say they have had enough of the murders, robberies and shootings in the area.
Tackling what they call the most dangerous parts of the area, a group of residents and Community Police Forum, subforum and street committee members, as well as youth organisation Shot, took part in a march, which was also supported by police sector commander Sergeant Elroy Johnson.
Rashieda Andrews, Shot founder, says it was their idea to host the peace march.
“Enough is enough. Our children have no freedom. They are too scared to play outside or walk to the shop and this is why we wanted to host the peace march,” she says.
The event was coordinated in conjunction with safety structures.
The organisers were disappointed with the small turnout.
“We are upset because we expected more people to show up. We are not doing this for us, but for everyone and we need the community to get behind us. It is time they stand with us because we are doing it for them all to benefit from,” says Andrews.
Thomas Porthen, secretary of the subforum, says this is not the last time they will hold an initiative like this.
“We are hoping to continue with more awareness campaigns and peace marches in the new year,” he says.
Abie Isaacs, chairperson of the Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum, says they are pleased to see awareness campaigns happening on ground level.
“This is very important. We support any awareness campaign because we find ourselves in a situation where people don’t report crime, especially in Mitchell’s Plain,” he says.
“We believe that all structures should be independent and always tell them to have continuous awareness campaigns and activities. This is the only way to make a difference. It is lots of small things that help to make a big change.”
Isaacs adds they stand by all organisations and says the community needs to work with all safety structures.
“We do not want to prioritise one area more than the next because they all have the same problems with drugs and gangsterism,” he says.