London Adventist Youth March for Peace
Seventh-day Adventist youth leaders in London said they would hold two peace rallies in mid-August, responding to ongoing rampant looting, which began August 6 following community protest of a police shooting.
CHURCH LEADER: Sam
Davis, president of the Adven-
tist Church’s South England Conference, marches in a July 23 Adventist Pathfinder parade on London streets to promote peace one year ahead of the
2012 Olympics.The events, sponsored by the church’s South England Conference, will be used to promote peace. Participants will distribute peace pledge cards, which ask people to sign the cards to promote peace in their neighborhoods.
Since the initial announcement, conference officials downgraded the size of the event for safety reasons. An official statement said, “Any outreach or community service should be only within members’ own areas, they should not travel across town, and venture out only under direct instruction from local church leadership who directly understand the situation.”
Looting across numerous neighborhoods of London, and cities as far away as Birmingham and Liverpool, continued to flare into the night of Monday, August 8, although an increased police presence has calmed the situation as of Adventist World’s press deadline.
The violence began Saturday night following a community protest of a police shooting in Tottenham. Local resident Mark Duggan was killed, and a police officer was shot but not killed in the incident, news agencies reported.
Tottenham, as well as other neighborhoods where violence first erupted, has often been associated with high unemployment and tensions with police. Copycat crimes soon swept across multiple neighborhoods and cities, the BBC reported.
The BBC reported that Prime Minister David Cameron returned from a vacation in Italy to address the situation.
“We are saddened by the events that have occurred in Tottenham,” Sam Davis, president of the Adventist Church in South England, said. “The loss of Mark Duggan’s life has mobilized many in the community to rightly ask for answers to what took place that led to this young man’s loss of life. However, this can never justify the wanton violence and destruction of property, looting, and vandalism that followed the protest.”
Davis said the conference’s Youth and Community Ministries departments were willing to join the community in the cleanup operation and are already working in one affected area to assist displaced families.
—Adventist News Network with British Union Conference staff