In a show of community strength and togetherness, the family and friends of a teen who was killed in Harborne last month held a vigil in the shadow of the Knife Angel sculpture in Birmingham on Tuesday (28th May) after walking in to the city centre.
18 year old Jordan Moazami from Quinton sadly died at the scene after being stabbed in Tennal Road on the evening of Wednesday 24th April.
Shortly after his murder, in tribute to Jordan, who was a keen footballer and boxer, his family said: “Our beautiful baby boy. There’s a piece of us that’s gone and that can never be replaced.
“We love you so much. Sleep tight.”
Community role model
Youth & Community workers Steve Hirst and Wesley Firkins from Rise Community Sports was Jordan’s mentors for two years. As a result, Jordan became a qualified sports coach and mentor himself. A role model to young people on the Welsh house Farm estate in Quinton, Jordan had been employed by Rise for around 18 months, coaching youngsters and teaching sports in schools.
Walk and vigil
Through his role at Safe Spaces for Young People and with the support of Jordan’s family, Steve organised a vigil at the temporary Knife Angel installation in front of Birmingham City Council House on Tuesday evening (28th May).
While the focus was around Jordan, the vigil was also a significant stand against all knife violence, with young victims across the city.
The Knife Angel – dubbed The National Monument against Violence and Aggression – is a sculpture by artist Alfie Bradley aimed at opening up a conversation about knife crime.
Around 160 people – family, friends, community, young and old – walked from “Jordan’s Spot” in Tennal Road to Victoria Square in the city centre, carrying banners and blue heart balloons.
The group gathered at the Knife Angel sculpture along with other young people and supporters who had walked from around the city to join together for the vigil.
At the vigil, speakers – including Jordan’s younger brother and cousin – spoke of their love for Jordan and spoke out against knife crime.
Steve spoke to the crowd of over 200 people, saying: “What has happened this evening is people have come from forgotten places: from places that our society […] say are no good. That nothing good comes from those places.
“If Jordan would want anything from this moment now, I’m convinced he would want us to make a stand and show this city, show this country, that these places have people with real heart, with real spirit, and more than anything, love.”
‘Put down the knife…’
Jordan’s nan also addressed the gathering. She said: “It’s about time young people […] realised – when you take a knife and you stick it in somebody, you don’t know what artery you’re going to hit […] Then, too late. You end up taking away something from someone – precious – that you can’t give back.”
And she appealed directly to young people to end knife crime. She said: “So what I want you all to do now – for Jordan’s sake – every one of you young boys in here; black, white, whatever colour you are…
“Please […] talk to each other, get some education, do something constructive: put down the knife, and save a life. Please.”
Make a stand
When asked if the Welsh House Farm community had any plans to combat knife crime in Jordan’s memory, Steve said that although no firm plans had yet been the community is certainly determined to continue to rally together to make a stand and see change.”
The 27ft Knife Angel sculpture was made at the National Ironwork Centre from over 100,000 knives collected from knife amnesty bins. Some knives used in crimes were also added.
The project has been supported by 43 police forces across the UK, alongside victim’s families – including Joshua Ribera’s mother Alison Cope – and anti-knife crime campaign groups.
Some of the knives are inscribed with messages from those who have lost loved ones, while others bear messages of regret from those who have committed crimes and now campaign against knife crime.
The inspirational and poignant work is on display in Victoria Square until Wednesday 5th June.