Hundreds of locals turned up outside Cally Pool on Caledonian Road to pay their respects to murdered Islington teenager Alan Cartwright last night.
The 15-year-old was stabbed to death a week ago on Friday 27 March, while cycling up Caledonian Road with two friends.
From between 7pm and 8pm family, friends and the local community held a candle-lit vigil for the teenager in front of a makeshift shrine of flowers, candles, ghost bikes and messages that has been steadily growing outside Cally Pool.
The Cartwright family led a procession which marched down Caledonian Road towards the junction where the stabbing occurred. They let off balloons, and then marched back towards Cally Pool.
Danny O’Brien, anti-knife crime campaigner and one of the organisers of the vigil, addressed the crowd with words of condolences and led people in the Lord’s Prayer.
O’Brien called on local authorities to do more. He said: “Councillors, do something for this community – make it safer.”
Local authorities including Islington MP Emily Thornberry were also there to pay their respects.
Tonight I joined the family of Alan Cartwright & 600 local residents, a week after his senseless senseless death pic.twitter.com/JZdirx3WDI
— Emily Thornberry MP (@EmilyThornberry) March 6, 2015
Paul Convery, councillor for Caledonian Ward, said: “There’s a lot of grief and anger and fear amongst families round here. I hope something positive comes out of this.
“What’s happened here tonight is several hundred people have arrived, fairly spontaneously, and they’ve been organised by groups of parents who are very concerned about what they feel is a lack of community spirit. There’s a positive spirit to tonight.
“There isn’t a simple answer, but there’s no doubt the council can do more, the police can do more – and as we’ve seen today, the community can do a lot more as well.”
A cycle ride planned to commemorate what would have been Alan Cartwright’s 16th birthday on 6 June has so far raised over £700. The money will go towards actress Brooke Kinsella’s “Stop Knives Save Lives” campaign, set up in memory of her brother Ben Kinsella, The Henry Hicks Foundation, and a memorial for Alan.