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In The South

Brighton marks ‘Hate Crime Awareness Week’ at Old Steine vigil

Besi Besemar October 18, 2016

Despite appalling weather, the Solidarity Vigil went ahead on Saturday, October 15 on the Old Steine in Brighton marking International Day of Hope and Remembrance and bringing to a close Hate Crime Awareness Week.

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The first International Day of Hope and Remembrance was launched at the London Vigil against Hate Crime which took place on October 30, 2009 following the death of Ian Baynham who was homophobically abused and beaten in Trafalgar Square.

Over the past seven years the third Saturday of October has been established as a day when people around the globe organise solidarity vigils and events to show support to those who have been affected by Hate Crime.

Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Cllr Pete West
Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Cllr Pete West

Speakers included the Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Cllr Pete West; Chair of the Neighbourhoods, Communities & Equalities Committee, Cllr Emma Daniel; Leader of the Conservative Group, Cllr Geoffrey Theobald; Convener of the Green Group, Cllr Phelim Mac Cafferty; Sussex Police Hate Crime & Trans Equality Advocate Sgt Peter Allan and Michael Hydes from the Village Community Church.

Brighton & Hove Council LGBT Community Safety Officer, Eric Page talked about the Self Evident Hate Crime Reporting App funded by the Sussex Police Crime Commissioners Office and Brighton & Hove Community Safety Manager Peter Wileman talked about the work of the Council’s Hate Crime¬†Casework Team.

The speakers
The speakers

Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion was unable to attend and sent a message to be read out.

She said: “The International Day of Hope and Remembrance serves as an important reminder to us all about the impact of hate crime in our communities.¬†

“We should never forget the sometimes unpalatable truths of events that have taken place. Even in a city so renowned for the celebration of its diversity, terrible hate crimes still happen.¬†It‚Äôs our duty to unite and to learn from them, so that we can do our best to challenge discrimination, intolerance, and hate whenever we encounter it.¬†¬†

“We stand in solidarity with others around the world today; others refusing to be threatened by homophobia or transphobia. Others ready to confront racism; sexism; and discrimination in all its forms.

“I‚Äôve said before, but I firmly believe, that whilst fear is a powerful weapon; there is strength in hope; and by uniting we can make a difference.¬†

“Brighton and Hove is an amazing city. I have a huge sense of pride as the MP for Brighton Pavilion that it‚Äôs a city leading the way on understanding and acceptance.”¬†

Peter Kyle the Labour MP for Hove & Portslade was out of the country and sent his apologies for not attending.

Brighton Gay Men's Chorus
Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus

Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus brought the evening to a close with rousing renditions of One moment in time, Yes and You raise me up.

The event was organised by volunteers of the LGBT Community Safety Forum, hosted by its Chair, Billie Lewis, and hot drinks were provided by Lunch Positive the HIV Lunch Club.

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