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JIS News

Students from a number of schools in Spanish Town came out in their numbers on Tuesday (March 4) to participate in the Peace Day march organized by the Violence Prevention Alliance.
The students, who were joined by marching bands, started out at the Dempshire Pen Early Childhood Centre, which is close to the Spanish Town Hospital and travelled along Barrett, White Church and Wellington Streets.
At Marlie Mount Square, the marchers met up with another group coming from St. John’s Road, which has seen its share of flare-ups in recent times. From there, they travelled on to Oxford and Burke Roads to the Prison Oval, where a rally was held.
Along the way, scores of residents came out to cheer on the marchers and to show solidarity for their stance on peace.
Inspector of Police in charge of community safety and security in the St. Catherine North Division, Michael Walker, had high commendation for the students. He told JIS News that the concept of targeting young people as the agent of change is an excellent one primarily because of the ripple effect this could have on communities. He argued that if young people can be encouraged to do the right things now, they will provide the quality leadership the country needs for the future.
Inspector Walker also commended the support shown by the adults, noting that for far too long, the town has been under the thumb of crime and violence and it is about time that the residents take a stand.
“It’s a good thing to know that the communities have come together. They are saying enough is enough and they have come out in their numbers to march and demonstrate to the rest of Jamaica that they are ready to keep the peace,” he said.
In the meantime, a nurse at the Spanish Town Hospital, Jodi-Ann Robinson, expressed optimism about the impact of the peace march in reducing violence-related injuries. “I think this peace march says a lot in terms of how we feel about our country and I think it will do something in reducing the number of patients that come in to be treated because of violent activities,” she stated.
“I think it will definitely have an impact on those who wish to change their lives from violence,” stressed porter at the hospital, Delroy Murphy. “All of this violence is just destroying our country and these marches that are taking place each year have an impact on the affected communities,” he added.