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Socialist who campaigns on knife crime stabbed by gang

TRADE unionists rallied behind a socialist anti-knife campaigner yesterday after he was attacked and stabbed by a gang.

Amar Ilyas and his friend Sahira founded campaign group Mums United against gang crime in the inner-city Sheffield community in which they live.

Both are members of the Labour Party and Momentum.

Mr Ilyas, a self-employed taxi driver, was dragged from his cab by four thugs, stabbed in the neck, then brutally beaten on Thursday, April 18, in South View Road in Sheffield.

The assailants attempted to break his kneecaps but fled when members of the community intervened.

He was given emergency treatment in the street by a nurse who lived nearby and has since been discharged from hospital.

Mr Ilyas, who is from Pakistan, told the Morning Star: “Local kids were being groomed and recruited by gangs.

“We set up this community initiative — it’s a diverse community and people are scared to speak up. We wanted to do something about it.

“We organised meetings. Some of the mums don’t speak English so we started to teach them, tell them what was happening to their kids.”

The initiative is being supported by other local trade union activists.

Martin Meyer, secretary of Sheffield Trade Union Council (TUC), said: “Momentum and Labour Party member Amar has been campaigning against knife crime in the Sharrow community area of Sheffield since July 2017 as part of local campaign group Mums United.

“Four men attacked him with a knife and a crowbar as well as smashing the windows and side panelling of his car.

“Amar was on his own in his car at the time. Local community members came out of their homes and shouted to scare off his assailants. One local woman gave emergency first aid while neighbours called an ambulance.”

Mr Ilyas’s taxi was badly damaged in the attack and has been impounded by police.

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