Youth mentor Moses Fadairo’s death sparked Hackney Peace March
- Credit: Archant
Mothers whose children have been killed on the streets gave moving speeches at the end of a peace march calling for a halt to the senseless slaughter of our young.
More than 300 people joined the procession from Haggerston Overground Station to Hackney Town Hall on Sunday, which was organised by community groups standing together in solidarity, saying “enough is enough”.
Organisers of The Crib youth club came up with the idea after the stabbing of teenager Marcel Addai in Hoxton, and three weeks later the shooting in Lower Clapton of Moses Fadairo – who had been a mentor to young people at the club which he had joined aged 14.
The group, which included The Voice winner Jermain Jackman and MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington Diane Abbott, carried hard-hitting banners with photos of young people who have been killed on the streets.
They sang ‘This little light of mine’ as they went passed the spot in Homerton where 17-year-old Jeremie Malenge was stabbed in January.
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The mothers of victims of knife and gun crime, like Godwin Lawson, Isaiah Ekpaloba and Charlie Burns, spoke at the end of the march at Hackney Town Hall in Mare Street, along with Deputy Mayor Sophie Linden.
Flowers were laid along the way for Moses in Chatsworth Road by the five-year old Lily May, daughter of Kelly Reid, youth worker at The Crib.
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She said: The community came together and that’s what’s important, by having the march we weren’t saying we were going to stop violence, but we were going to come together and help create change.
“The atmosphere in the air was very humbling, to see that people do actually care, and they do come together.
“The whole point of doing the banners is people just forget. A lot of people expected us to do banners with statements like ‘No knives and guns’ – but we did faces because we wanted it to be powerful.
“Very often people forget the people who died. Godwin died five years ago and his mother is still deep in grief. Pat Levy lost Robert 11 years ago and she is still deep in grief.”
The group has set up a Facebook Community Peace page, where people can share information.
The idea for the march came after the deah of Moses Fadairo.
Kelly Reid, from the centre, said: “Moses dying was – you know what, ‘This is it, enough is enough.
“He was a mentor to our young people and encouraged them to do good, he came in to check how the kids were.
“Lots of the young people have written things on Twitter thanking him for encouraging them to go to school and the boys thanked him for his good relationship advice.
“He was a genuinely nice guy, there is nobody I know who can tell you anything bad in regards to his character,
She continued: “He was a charming guy, we used to joke about the fact he would make old women go weak at the knees. It was a longstanding joke.
“We are all absolutely devastated because we had spoken with him on the Friday and he was planning to come down on the Saturday – on the day that he was shot.
“His family have constantly been in our thoughts and prayers at The Crib.”
In January the youth club called a meeting which Moses took part in, to discuss what could be done to combat violence, following a spate of killings including that of teenager Jeremie Malenge in Homerton.
Moses had come up with the idea for a conflict mediation programme called Smart And Steady, using boxing and sports to encourage young people to train as athletes rather than hiding behind weapons.
He was already in talks with boxing champions who wanted to support the programme when he was killed.