Britain's new hate crime week to remember gay victims with a service at St Paul's Cathedral and vigils around the country
Activists against gay hate crime will come together at St Paul’s Cathedral in London for a remembrance service as part of Britain’s new Hate Crime Awareness Week.
The 17-24-30 campaign is launching the first UK week to highlight hate crime but is also planning vigils worldwide.
They want to promote local hate crime services, raise money to support these services and get others to organize small hate crime awareness events.
The week will start with the act of remembrance taking place at the world-famous London landmark St Paul’s Cathedral on 13 October at 6.30pm.
The service will include three speakers, Mark Healey, the founder of 17-24-30 No To Hate Crime campaign, Beverley Smith, who covers the Hate Crime Disability Network and Phyll Opoku-Gyimah of UK Black Pride.
A candle of hope and remembrance will be lit by Carolyn Moore whose brother Nik was killed along with John Light and Andrea Dykes in the bombing in the gay Admiral Duncan pub on 30 April 1999.
And 30 people have been asked to step forward to light 30 smaller candles during the service representing the diverse range of communities affected by hate crime.
The candle will burn in St Paul’s Cathedral for the duration of the week which leads up to the fourth International Day of Hope and Remembrance on 20 October when the series of Solidarity Hate Crime Vigils will take place around the UK and worldwide.
Vigils have so far been confirmed in London, Brighton, Norwich, North Norfolk, Ipswich, Plymouth, Reading and Milton Keynes, with more events expected to follow.
17-24-30 was originally set-up by Healey in 2009 in the lead up to the 10th anniversary of the London Nail Bomb attacks on Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho – thought of as the UK capital’s black, Asian and gay districts.
Healey said: ‘The act of remembrance at St Pauls, our Hate Crime Awareness Week, the London vigil along with the other solidarity vigils that are taking place are about people coming together do something local to tackle hate crime.
‘These events are important because they remind us that we are not alone, we are part of a community and when we come together we can make a real difference to those who have been affected by hate crime.
‘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.’
In particular they will remember Ian Baynham, who was homophobically abused and beaten in Trafalgar Square, London in 2009 and whose death inspired the first vigil attended by 10,000 people.
For more information on the vigils and how to attend, visit the 17-24-30 site.