JIS News

More than 1,000 persons are expected to take part in a community peace march being spearheaded by the Grants Pen Community Policing Consultative Committee, as part of activities to mark Peace Month.
The March, which will take place on Thursday, February 28, will involve 7th to 9th graders from the New Day Primary and Junior High and Shortwood Practicing schools, basic school children, in addition to members of various organizations as well as residents of Grants Pen and neighbouring communities.
The march will begin at the intersection of Grants Pen Road and Barbican Road and move to the Grants Pen community and Shortwood square.
Chairman of the Grants Pen Community Policing Consultative Committee, Reverend Ian Muirhead told JIS News that the march was designed to be an expression of support to the national peace month initiative being spearheaded by the Violence Prevention Alliance. “It (the march) is also intended to send a message to persons involved in gang and other forms of violence that the residents of Grants Pen and Jamaica desire peace in their communities,” Reverend Muirhead pointed out.
He explained that short messages will be delivered at various points during the march including by Children’s Advocate, Mary Clarke; the principals of the New Day Primary and Shortwood Practicing schools and Professor Barry Chevannes of the Violence Prevention Alliance.
The Reverend informed that the speakers would focus on the negative impact of violence on children’s development and the prosperity of communities.
“They will be highlighting the effects of violence on our children and stressing the importance of turning away from a path of violence so that our children can develop in a normal way so that our communities can prosper,” he elaborated.
As it relates to security and transportation, Reverend Muirhead noted that the police will be fully on board to “ensure that the area is properly monitored with respect to traffic control.” He added that an articulated bus will be provided to transport students to and from the march area.
The significance of the march in the Grants Pen area, he said, is to continue peace initiatives within the community.
“We are from Grants Pen and like other areas, since the election we have been having flare up of violence, so though there have been a lot of change that have taken place in Grant’s Pen, we think it is important to continue to have initiatives like these to maintain and improve what we started,” the Reverend explained.
He encouraged residents and stakeholders to support the march, noting that “it is very important for expressions such as these to occur from time to time especially with the magnitude of violence in our nation and if we are silent then the forces of evil will gain strength.when the people speak up it makes the forces of evil think and even back off,” he asserted.
The entities involved in the march include the Jamaica Constabulary Force, member organizations of the Community Policing Consultative Committee, schools of the Grants Pen and Shortwood communities, representatives of both political parties, and the Community Empowerment and Transformation Project.

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