No To Hate Crime Vigil

An annual 'Vigil Against Hate Crime' is due to take place on Friday 28th October, 7.30pm-9pm in Trafalgar Square.

A 2-minute silence to remember all victims of hate crime will be observed at 8pm across the UK.

Vigils Against Hate Crime Press Release

Our belief: “We believe that it is important to actively remember the victims of hate crime, to show our support to those who have had their lives changed forever by acts of hate. To state clearly that hate crime is not acceptable in our communities and that we need to work together to tackle this problem.”

Our Vigil: Will take place on Friday 28th October 2011 between 7.30pm - 9pm in Trafalgar Square, London whilst others take place around the UK and abroad. The London Vigil is organised by 17-24-30 in partnership with the Harvey Milk Foundation.

17-24-30 was founded in April 2009 to mark the 10th Anniversary of the London Nail Bomb attacks on Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho. Its main purpose is to organise and facilitate the April Acts of Remembrance to mark the anniversaries of these horrific attacks on black, asian and gay people in London and to remind us that we need to continue to work together to stop hate crime happening in our communities.

The Harvey Milk Foundation, is an American organisation set up to ensure that the legacy of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in San Francisco in 1978. One year later he and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated. He once said “If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.” In everything that he did and stood for, Harvey Milk considered himself part of the movement for gay rights , which he regarded as an integral human rights issue. We are very proud to be working with the Harvey Milk Foundation, along with other Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender organisations across the UK and abroad because we consider ourselves to be part of that movement too. We hope that our vigils will inspire people to think about the impact that hate crime has within our communities and to work together to ensure that it is prevented. Not just homophobic hate crime, but all forms of hate crime.

This year we are aware that more towns and cities around the UK are taking part including Brighton, Kettering, Norfolk, Norwich, Reading, Stoke, Suffolk, and Sussex. We invite everyone to join us wherever they are at 8pm for a 2-minute silence to remember those we have lost, and those who need our on-going support. In particular we will remember Ian Baynham, who was homophobically abused and beaten in Trafalgar Square in 2009, whose death inspired the first Vigil against Hate Crime attended by 10,000 people. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family at this difficult time of the year. Our Speakers The Vigil will be opened by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence who will read a short poem and bless the event, and include performances by the Gay Symphonic Winds Orchestra and a choir consisting of members of the London Gay Men’s Chorus, Pink Singers and Diversity. Mitchell Reece will also be performing.

Confirmed Speakers include: Stuart Milk , the Nephew of Harvey Milk and founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation. Lynne Featherstone MP Minster Equalities, Elly Barnes Schools Out, recently listed as number one on the Independents Pink List 2011, Sue Sanders LGBT History Month, Beverley Smith Disability Hate Crime Network, Vicki Barrs from the National Union of Students LGBT Liberation Campaign, Ben Summerskill from Stonewall, Tessa Hauke fron Trans London, Lou Hart from Camden LGBT Forum, Rose Simpkins Stop Hate UK, Stacey Halls Age UK Opening Doors, Peter Tatchell Outrage and Peter Tachell Foundation, and Brian Paddick 2012 London Mayoral Candidate.

More speakers pending confirmation.

Mark Healey founder of 17-24-30 and organiser of the Vigil said “It is honour to share the stage with these people who represent some of the finest work that is being carried out across the movement for human rights.” “I am pleased to see Elly Barnes from Schools out listed as number one on the Independent’s Pink List. This recognition is so important. School is second only to what we learn in our families, and has to be the next most important influential experience of our lives – making sure we create a safe environment for all children including those who may be LGBT is vital so we can educated about diversity, tolerance and respect. This is how we begin the process of preventing the behaviours that may lead to acts of hate, by eradicating bullying in our schools. No child should ever suffer bullying alone.”

“The Vigil is not just about remembering those we have lost, and those who still need our support. In this economic climate it is about supporting and sign-posting the people and organisations that are on the front line. Those that are already tackling issues of hate crime in our communities. We need to ensure that their funding continues and we support the good work they are doing.” “Lastly, this is about raising awareness. They say that awareness is the first step and it is important that we make it together. We need to make sure that every person is aware that there is a problem, that we need to be vigilant in order to keep our communities safe. But at the same time it’s also important to continue to be proud of who we are, and what we have achieved so far.”

David Watters, Give the Hope Campaign “We can no longer wait for another Harvey Milk to follow or reply on the Peter Tatchell’s of this world, the pioneers, the visionaries, to fight our fight; but instead we must learn ways to be tenacious, tireless and determined advocates of social equality ourselves.” Our thanks We would like to express our thanks to everyone who has helped us so far this year, as the Vigil approaches we applaud those who have given their time and energy to making this event happen – we simply could not do it without their on-going support.

In particular we would like to thank • • • • Harvey Milk Foundation Southwark LGBT Network Vauxhall Bars including: Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Tonker and The Eagle. Soho Venues including: Halfway2Heaven, 79CXR, Ku Bars Lisle St & Frith St, Duke of Wellington, Admiral Duncan, Comptons and Molly Moggs. Clapham Venue: 2 Brewers Lewisham Venue: Two8Six Gaydar Radio and Resonance 104.4fm Out in the City, Boyz Magazine, QX Magazine, Pink News • • • • And those who have donated prizes to support our fund-raising efforts • Full list to follow shortly. Volunteers We continue to welcome people to participate in our campaign. We are particularly looking for volunteers to help us steward the Vigil on the 28th October – if interested come to Trafalgar Square for 6pm and meet us by Nelson’s Column.

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