Silent journey for the stabbed Joshua (15) in Rotterdam-Beverwaard
Joshua died after a stabbing in a park near the Goedenraadweg. The tour started on Tuesday at 7:00 PM on the Rhijnauwensingel, near the victim’s house. The participants walked via the Baarlopoort and Elsopoort to the place in the park on the Goedenraadweg, where Joshua died. There was a moment of silence. Furthermore, the knife violence among young people and the dangers that this entails was discussed.
The devastation is great on Tuesday, when hundreds of people gather at Joshua’s house where he grew up. “I have two daughters, one of whom was in Joshua’s class,” says a father who has come to the silent journey. “It would only be your child, at that age. Really terrible. It’s the most terrible thing that can happen to a person.”
Another man sees the situation in the neighborhood getting worse. “I also grew up here. Then something sometimes happened. But it is becoming more and more intense and far-reaching. That also affects me very much.” A woman in a mobility scooter finds it impressive that so many people have come to Joshua’s silent march. “It’s horrible what happened. We all have a fight sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be a knife, does it?”
When the followers of the silent march arrive at the playground, where Joshua was stabbed to death, there is silence. There ‘Aunt Helen’ takes the floor. She addresses the crowd and points out that everyone is innocent. She does give those present an assignment: “But it is up to you that you are going to be an example in Beverwaard. It is time for us to stand up. The government must see that we, the parents and the children, need help.” Aunt Helen raises her voice, “Help must come!”
These words are followed by applause. They are called upon to shout out the anger, which makes a deep impression. Moments later, there is a minute of silence, after which the white and blue balloons are released. Then the visitors of the silent tour walk past the place where Joshua died. A lot of emotions are released in this place.
Ronald Hiwat is also present at the silent tour, which also impresses him. “It’s sad in and in,” sighs boxing gym owner Hiwat. He wonders why this could happen. Hiwat’s son is a youth worker and coached Joshua. “They all have a certain attitude. Let them put on the gloves and see who is the strongest. But this is getting out of hand,” Hiwat notes. “Politics must also intervene.”
A 15-year-old boy turned himself in to police after Thursday’s stabbing. He is currently in prison and is suspected of manslaughter. The reason for the fatal stabbing is not clear. The Public Prosecution Service reported Monday that Joshua himself also carried a knife.
Joshua’s mother previously told her story at Rijnmond. “That image … that look. That my son was lying there in the bushes, I see that image every time,” she says. “I always told him that I would fight for him, no matter what. But just when I had to fight for him, I wasn’t there. I wasn’t there. It hurts me, because I promised him this I’m a hundred percent sure he called my name there, but I wasn’t there to help him. The last moments he needed me, I wasn’t there for him.”