Camden’s message of solidarity to victims of homophobic bus attack
Councillors reveal concerns that other assaults go unreported
07 June, 2019 — By Richard Osley
SOLIDARITY has been sent to the victims of the West Hampstead bus attack with councillors and council staff ready to march at London Pride to show there is no place for hate in Camden.
Council leader Georgia Gould said it was “devastating” that the horrific attack on two women on a N31 bus last week had happened in a borough which she said would always stand together against persecution and hate crime.
”We are deeply proud of our diverse and vibrant LGBT+ community,” she said. “We know that we need to stand up the rights and safety of this community, which is what we will be marching at London pride. The LGBT+ experience in our borough will be the theme of our next council meeting.”
Camden’s first entry, as a council, into the Pride march this month had already been planned before news of last week’s attack emerged, but councillors say it is now even more important to show support and solidarity.
Cllr Gould added: “It is devastating that a couple were attacked o bus in Camden just for who they love. This is not Camden and send our love and solidarity to the victims.”
She added that the council was ‘working closely’ with the police to tackle hate crime.
Councillor Oliver Cooper, the leader of the Conservative group at the Town Hall, said: “My heart goes out to Melania and Chris. This is sadly all too common a part of life, with nine in ten of even the most serious attacks on LGBT people going unreported – which goes to show the importance of everyone standing up when others are attacked.”
He added: “We are becoming ever more tolerate as a society, but there’s still a heartbreakingly long way to go. That is yet more evidence of why Pride month is so important, and why it’s critical for schools to teach inclusive sex and relationship education. Everyone should grow up respecting LGBT people and relationships, not treating people as objects or oddities because of who they love.”
Liberal Democrat councillor Luisa Porritt, who is also an MEP, said: “It is deeply upsetting that Melania and Chris suffered this attack just for being who they are. Young people should be able to enjoy a night out without feeling unsafe. Sadly these kinds of attacks are all too common, with one in five LGBT people having experienced a hate crime or incident in the past year alone.”
She added: “LGBT rights are fundamental human rights, and we must do everything we can in Camden to stand up for the community, encouraging awareness, tolerance and respect from others. I look forward to marching with Camden Liberal Democrats at London Pride in solidarity.”