A grief-stricken mother whose son was shot dead two years ago led women and children on a peace march through Lozells yesterday.
Barbara Sawyers, a healthcare worker from Smethwick, said she knew more than most what the mother of 23-year-old Isiah Young-Sam was going through, and had felt compelled to take action.
Her 19-year-old son, student Daniel Bogle, had been sitting on a wall talking to friends when he was shot dead in a botched gangland 'hit'.
She led about 30 black, Asian and white women and children on a half-mile march through the rain to the spot where Mr Young-Sam was stabbed by a gang of up to 11 men during Saturday's riots.
Carrying placards bearing the slogans 'United in Grief, United For Peace' and 'We Are One Community' they stopped in Carlyle Road to place a bunch of white flowers with the growing pile of tributes to Mr Young-Sam.
Bev Thomas, mother of murdered teenager Charlene Ellis, stood quietly across the road, keeping her umbrella low over her face.
Fighting back tears, Miss Sawyers read a letter she had written to the mother of Mr Young-Sam. She said the description she had read in reports about him bore parallels to her own son.
"I more than most know exactly what you are going through," she read. "I lost my son two years ago to gun crime. He was the same kind hearted, well mannered, peace-loving young gentleman Isiah was."
She added: "It will never be the same again but I believe Isiah will not have been murdered in vain." Afterwards, she said: "We are the mothers, the nucleus of the community here, whether black, white or Asian and the violence has to stop. The youths themselves need to come together and discuss what it is that's going on."
Community leader Salma Yaqoob said: "This is a really powerful statement that we are refusing to be divided. We are one community. We are here as mothers, wives, sisters and daughters who don't want our men, in the name of protecting us, to commit violence.
"Our children go to the same schools, the same shops. Those people who say there's a race war on here are totally wrong."
Bev Thomas, who no longer lives in the area but returned for the event, said the demonstration had been worthwhile. It sends the strong message that we are well and truly united in this," she said.