Saturday, October 31, 2009

Londoners Rally against Hate Crimes

Londoners gather in the thousands last night for a candle light vigil and to protest the rise in hate crimes against GLBTQ people in recent weeks as well as to honor the lives of Ian Baynham and James Parkes. Parkes, a police Trainee was nearly beaten to death and Baynham was beaten to death after exiting a London bus bound for a night on the town. Both incidents were driven by hommophobia and only the most recent examples attacks of this kind.

Please join in the moment of silence and the reading of the fallen:

I dare you not to get goose bumps during the reading of these names. As they were read off I could not help but think...this is not the end of that list...we could easily add those from America...And those from Iraq who are being slaughtered by the handfull even right now.

It was fantastic to see so many turn out in support of ending violence against gays. I do wonder though how British television spun it.

One really poignent moment in the video is during the silence when the sirens began to seemed to an apropriate statement on the state of safety for GLBTQ people.

We send our heartfelt sympathy to the families of the fallen and we stand with you in the hopes that vigils like these never have to be held again.


  1. British TV spun it really well. TV and mainstream culture in the UK is pro-gay. People with anti-gay prejudice are on the fringes. The rise in individual violence against gay people has come as politics and the law have moved away from repression.

    Jake (my partner) went to this after work as his work place is near by. I was still on the road back from work.

    It wasn't very well advertised before hand. I think most of the people there were passers by.

  2. I think the liberalisation of attitudes towards gay people in the general population may in some ways have lead to the rise in violence.

    Gay people are no so afraid to be seen kissing and holding hands any more. This brings the attention of gangs and street thugs who use this sort of attack as a display of their masculinity.

    I also think there may be an element of the extreme right feeling that as they are no longer able to affect the way gay people are treated nationally they have to take things into their own hands.

    I think it is more the former than the latter.

  3. Reading names is an effective way of getting people's attention to an issue. The same thing happens when the AIDS quilt is on display in Canada. I was there about 10 years. I couldn't contain the tears after 1.5 hours of hearing name, after name, after name, after name of people who have died due to AIDS.

    That experience changed me.

  4. The style of this whole thing very much mimics the Rememberance Day ceremonies I've experienced every year (for those killed in the world wars). I think this similarity completely fitting.

    However, I was somewhat thrown by the inclusion of James Parkes in the list - after all, he is still alive, thank God (and last I heard, discharged from hospital). I'm not saying the attack on him was any less bad than that on all the other people who have been needlessly killed, just that it was a slightly odd decision to include a man who survived his attach in a list of people killed.

    I struggle to understand the violence that goes on in the UK. The vast majority of people I know take sexual orientation as a non-issue, with a few politely disagreeing with me there. Hear plenty of ignorant comments, but none of them coming from hatred. I probably just move in the wrong (right) circles, though. Makes me sad that a country so generally progressive still has people who would do this.

  5. I cannot really stand for this, io get so... full of rage, these attacks.

    Sometimes i just want to reset the whole world

  6. Andrea Dykes, the second person on the list, was four months pregnant when she was killed by the last of the Copeland Bombs, a series of three nail-bombs planted by David Copeland, a British neo-Nazi. While her husband Julian survived, their friends - Nick Moore and John Light - did not. Andrea's unborn child is probably the youngest ever victim of a homophobic murder.

  7. I dont think I would want to survivve after such a loss.