Friday, 21 October 2011

Former Gangster Talks Tough about London's Summer Riots

A former East London gangster says the only way to prevent a repeat of the summer riots is by tackling the spiritual emptiness experienced by many young people.
John Pridmore Photo Catholic Weekly - Sydney

John Pridmore, once a feared enforcer in London’s East End, argues in his new book "Journey to Freedom" that many young people don’t feel they have any significance in society.

‘When I go into prisons and schools to talk to young people, what strikes me is how many have little awareness of the spiritual dimension to their life,’ says Pridmore. ‘The reason young people join gangs is because it gives them a sense of identity and community. But getting involved in violence and drugs only lead one way: to prison or a coffin.

‘Money, sex, fast cars, designer gear – all the stuff I used to live for – is not the way to find happiness. A young person’s value is not dependant on what they have but who they are.’

In "Journey to Freedom", Pridmore talks with refreshing honesty about his own failings and how to make a new start in life. He says many young people need to find healing and to discover their uniqueness.

Following on from tours in the US and Italy, Pridmore (now based in Ireland)will be on tour in the UK from 3 November - 11 December 2011, speaking at the Young Offenders Prison HMP Hindley, Oscott Seminary & 12 secondary schools in England & Scotland.

In the past 10 years Pridmore has spoken to well over a million young people, leading retreats, conferences and seminars throughout the U.K., Ireland, U.S.A. (New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles,) Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Cayman Islands, France, Italy, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Liberia, Bosnia Herzegovina and Croatia. His book "From Gangland to Promised Land" has become a best-seller.

Journey To Freedom published by Morning Star Publications Pbk £7.95

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