At the end of November, over 150 people took part in a walk through London’s Vauxhall in order to send a message of solidarity against hate crimes.
The event was organised by David Braniff-Herbert, TUC LGBT Committee member, and his partner James. A gay couple were forced to take shelter in a London pub last Sunday evening, after being pursued and threatened by a gang of teenagers who shouted homophobic slurs and threatened them with a weapon.
The vigil was attended by the Mayor of Lambeth and Mark Healey, Hate-Crime Co-ordinator for Lambeth Council. Police lined the route in order to ensure the safe passage of the peaceful protesters through Vauxhall to the Albert Embankment.
Speaking at the event David Braniff-Herbert said: “Am I supposed to believe that these teenagers came up with these ideas themselves? No, we are not born to hate but our lives are shaped to set us upon each other”.
Mark Healey, Lambeth LGBT Hate Crime Co-ordinator said: “We need people to report hate crimes because if we don’t know then we can’t allocate proper resources”
Mark Bennett, Mayor of Lambeth said: “I think it’s very important that we mark what happened recently in a positive way and that’s what we’re doing this evening,
“We’re reclaiming this part of Lambeth on behalf of the gay people – the LGBT people – of Lambeth.
“The only thing that won’t be tolerated in Lambeth is intolerance. There’s no place for prejudice in Lambeth and no home for hate.
The organisers of the vigil hoped that this message would inspire others to stand up against bullying, and further send a message of solidarity against hate-crimes.