I just wanted to give mention to the No To Hate vigil that happened in Trafalgar Square, London on 30th October 2009.
Unfortunately, I had to get home on Friday evening, though as I was late home from work, I only missed this by about an hour (I often pass through Trafalgar Square). On reflection, I really wish I’d stayed.
The vigil was largely prompted as a response to the death of Ian Baynham, recently murdered in the Square for simply being gay. It has also been used to respond to the reports of rising numbers of hate-crimes against the gay community and also to highlight of the case of a young gay chap in Liverpool who was brutally set upon by a gang of up to 20 youths a few days ago; showing this is not just a problem local to London.
The Londonist have ran a marvellous article (with some stunning pictures). I’d strongly recommend my blog readers have a read of it.
The sheer number of names read out after the silence seemed never ending, and was, without doubt, far, far too many.
I have been very lucky to have never really experienced serious homophobic abuse, despite what we’re told are drastically rising numbers of instances.
I have read articles in Attitude magazine, and similar, which also reckon that hate crimes will rise due to the effects of global warming (essentially, when things start to go wrong, and at times of social pressure, minority groups suffer badly). A somewhat sobering thought, and the first time I’ve really (and seriously) thought about the effects of global warming (though I have always tried to be green myself!).
Without wanting to get too party political about this, why were there no Conservative politicians in attendance at the vigil (apart from the Deputy London Mayor)? I see a long list of Labour figures and supporters reported in the media, but nobody from any other party seemed to have turned up…
I think that the overwhelming majority of people in this country all share the same fundamental values, and understand that even if we don’t agree with someone elses way of living and think it wrong, that tolerance must be still exercised.
I think that those remaining few people who cross the line of tolerance and are clearly so full of unsubstantiated rage, unable to show any sense of self-restraint, without shadow of a doubt deserve no less than life in prison, and their assets liquidated and donated to the further the efforts against the ‘phobia’ or ‘ism’ that they have breached. It’d never happen, but I wish it would.
NO TO HATE!