Cape Town – After weeks of increased shootings and robberies, the Parkwood community gathered in their numbers throughout the past week to take a stand against the ongoing gang violence in the area with a series of community organised marches.
The marches took place over the weekend and throughout the week with the most recent march occurring on Wednesday evening at Masjidus-Sabr Mosque – organised by fed up community members, youth and Rise Up (a local youth development organisation).
The marches were attended by men, women and children that have lost loved ones to gang violence in Parkwood, as well as the Grassy Park police to ensure the safety of participants.
Police spokesperson Joseph Swartbooi said Grassy Park police monitored the marches with almost 100 participants in the area showing their support for the cause.
Parkwood Youth representative and Rise Up chairperson Abduragiem Adams said gang rivalry in the Parkwood area has been chaotic recently and it was starting to impact the youth in the area which prompted them to take action.
“As the shooting progressed over the past few weeks, the youth were insistent that something be done about the violence. We then got together with the street watch and other community members and we decided to host a series marches against the ongoing gang violence, rape, shootings and robberies in Parkwood,” said Adams.
Rise Up youth representative and Parkwood Street Watch member Aneesa Ismail encouraged others in the community to join in their efforts and ensured safety was a key priority with police also involved, especially with children as young as five-years-old participating.
Ismail said just a few of the acts of violence included children getting robbed as they walk over the field to school, young children getting shot in crossfire and a break-in at the home of one of the youth’s food sponsors.
“If gangsters shoot, our children can't sleep, they can't go to school and they can't play outside. When they start their wars then our loved ones are the ones caught in the crossfire. The children of the Parkwood community are living in fear and we have to stand up for them,” said Ismail.