logo Burngreave Messenger Issue 28 February 2003





Stop the Violence

Natural Mystic
by Rob Smith

It was well into the first day of this New Year when that strange mist settled momentarily around Burngreave. Reaching my destination the top of Maxwell Street I noted the strange fog settle eerily at the bottom of Don Valley. I stood to watch this sight from my position when that airy feeling recalled the recent untimely death of proud father Gerald Smith and this caused me to shudder.

Reaching home I sat in discussion with my friend when his phone rang out at a time, I guess, when many others were ringing around the city. The news was out, there’d been another execution, this time it was Lester Divers and he’d been killed outright.

The following day, with the sad news confirmed, tributes from Brendan Ingle and Johnny Nelson were combined with the wreaths and flowers placed by the scene. For us here in Burngreave yet another murder, of a person widely known, truly liked, revered and admired. A death that leaves big questions that I guess, if we all really think about them, we know the answer and the solutions.

It is hard to go against the tide of fear, but what is the fear we know? Only the fear we allow to exist.

Some say they will begin fighting between themselves, all jostling for the position made vacant and the death toll will rise before true sense prevails. I began to ask those that always feel the direct effects of this lawless mayhem and many say they’re afraid to walk around anymore, afraid not only for themselves but for their children and loved ones. The stakes of everyday street survival have been raised and for so many with little or no other opportunity, death on the front line has become a major risk taken on by another generation.

Observing so many following down that same road, we see little or no other opportunities being created for them to move in another direction.

I wish to see a change of direction for the sake of our children and their children.

Gerald Smith and Lester Divers

From the Messenger and readers may you both rest in peace.

Knowing your deaths cannot go un noted without cries, calls and more struggle for change.


"R.I.P. Lester" graffiti.