‘Bring community together to stop knife crime’, mum of stab victim tells march
Hundreds of people marched against knife crime on Sunday
08 May, 2017 — By Emily Finch
Protesters carried placards bearing the names of knife and gun crime victims on Sunday’s march
THE grieving mother of murdered Jonathon “JJ” McPhillips called on the community to come together to stop London’s knife crime epidemic at a march against youth violence on Sunday.
Michelle McPhillips, who lost son JJ in February, spoke before the “Enough is Enough” march that saw almost a thousand people take to the streets in a demonstration from Islington to Hackney.
She told the crowd at Islington Green: “The community has had enough, and basically the community is pulling together to help try to prevent anymore unnecessary deaths on the street, innocent deaths. One death is too many.
“It will not always be someone else’s problem, it is here, it is now for everyone of us. No true friend needs to or should carry a knife, or a weapon or encourage you to carry one. Be strong within yourselves.
“When a life is taken on a street, it is not just one life that day, it is the start of a ripple that goes through so many lives. The law needs to change.”
Michelle McPhillips addressed the crowd in Islington Green before the march
She added: “I personally need the help of a community around me pulling together, to help make me start making our streets safer, by starting to talk to each other working with the authorities. Educating their children, to keep the rest of my family safe.
“Let us as a community stand strong, and stop the wrong.”
Father-of-two JJ, 28, was stabbed outside Islington Assembly Hall, in Upper Street, close to his home in February. Hundreds turned out for his funeral in March. Those responsible for the killing remain at large.
JJ’s friends, family, and partner Kennedy Parker also took part in the demonstration, which was organised by The Crib youth club in Hackney.
In 2016, there were no fatal stabbings in Islington.
But four Islington teenagers lost their lives in knife attacks in 2015 . They included Alan Cartwright, 15, Vaso Kakko, 17, and Stefan Appleton, 17. Pictures of Alan were also seen on placards on Sunday’s march.
Jessica Plummer, who lost her 17-year-old son Shaquan to knife crime, spoke at Islington Green
Another Islington teenager, Shaquan Sammy-Plummer, 17, was stabbed to death outside a house party in Enfield in January 2015. His mother Jessica, from Finsbury Park, also addressed the crowd on Sunday.
Marchers also carried placards bearing the faces of Islington teenagers Martin Dinnegan and Ben Kinsella who were stabbed to death in 2007 and 2008 respectively.