GRIEVING mothers who have lost children to violence took to the streets of Manchester for a peace march.
The group was set up by mothers affected by gun crime to help educate and influence others in the same situation.
Sylvia Lancaster, whose daughter was battered to death in a park in Bacup for being Goth, attended the event to build links with MAV.
She said: “We want to show people that we are against violence of any form, whether it is knife or gun crime or kicking someone to death.”
The event started in Albert Square, where the crowd was entertained by DJ Juggler, musical and dancing performances and speeches from local politicians.
A one-minute silence was held and the names of people who have died as a result of violence since 1999 were read out.
Children and mothers and fathers supporting the event took part in the march – the majority wearing white T-shirts bearing the words ‘valuing young people’ on the back.
MAV chairwoman 2000 -2008 Patsy McKie – whose youngest son, Dorrie, was one of three young men shot dead in gang violence in one week in August 1999 – invited other mothers who have lost children to join her on stage.
She said: “We stand together knitted by brokenness but also cemented by the pain that we feel, and how we are going to go forward with that.”
Speaking about MAV she said: “It was just a vision that I had. I followed it and we are going forward and changing things.”
Tony Winter, a street pastor, said: “MAV said it wanted to do something about what was happening, it has and it has made a real difference.”
Rapper Rio Nelson, 24, who performed with colleague Mark Viollet, said: “I’m here for my friend Amy Leigh Barnes who was stabbed to death. We performed the track Sorry, dedicated to Amy and to promote a positive message to young people.”