Over a thousand Canadians rallied against gang violence in Surrey yesterday
By Barfi Culture Team
14th June 2018

Nearly a thousand Canadians rallied in front of Surrey City Hall yesterday evening, calling on the city to do more about gang violence.

The rally was primarily of Punjabi Canadians and came just a week after two teenagers, Jason Jhutty and Jesse Bhangal, were shot dead in the city. No suspects have been arrested in relation to what the police say were targeted murders.

The family of Jesse Bhangal were also at the rally to speak out. "The police department needs to be stricter, the law needs to be stricter so people think twice doing something like that," said Mandy Bhangal to Global News.

"We have lost our son. He had a bright future he wanted to be a mechanic. He loved working on cars and now we are left with nothing."

The rally was organized by journalist Gurpreet Sahota, editor of Charhdi Kala & Akal Guardian newspapers, who said the community needed to "wake up" to the issue of gang violence.

"We are waking up ourselves. Ourselves means parents living in Surrey, we are waking up the politicians, we are waking up the mayor and council and we are waking up police."

He added: "Most of them [families] are in denial mode. They are not admitting that this is a problem and we have to wake up."

"There are some parents who don’t believe that my son can be wrong. And they think the police is the first tool to call, but actually it’s the last tool. When they call police things are already out of hand now and it’s very hard to bring them back," he added.

A group called Save Canadian Kids told the Vancouver Sun they wanted the blame for gang involvement from parents to the illicit-drug trade. They are calling for the drugs to be regulated to stop gang violence.

Another group called #StandingUpForOurKids wants more "critical intervention" involving police, teachers, mental health workers, parents and students.

Multiple speakers addressed the mourning crowd.

Retired Surrey RCMP Staff Sergeant Jack Hundial said: "We need to change how we respond to gun violence in Surrey, we need to change the role of the police officer in our schools to one that is more meaningful, we need to change how parents can access resources concerning their children when they’re in need."

News report

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