A demonstration has taken place in protest against the recent Clapham stabbings, with crowds of people filling the streets in a show of defiance and solidarity.
Organisers Queer Night Pride (QNP) and others marched down Clapham High Street last night (Saturday 26 August). The group passed the Two Brewers venue, where two gay men were attacked earlier this month.
Attendees could be heard chanting “We’re here, we’re queer, we will not live in fear.”
“I’ve come down tonight because the level of rhetoric that the Conservative government’s been putting out has basically culminated in a culture of hostility in this country,” attendee Andrew Ward told Attitude.
“Me personally, a stranger on a bike called me a gay c*nt the other day. We need to stand together as a community – straight, queer, gay, LGBTQ. We all have to live here.”
Also in attendance was human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who wrote on Twitter during the event: “Now outside Two Brewers LGBT+ pub, scene of two recent homophobic attacks.
“What do we do when we’re under attack? Stand up & fight back!”
The Green Party’s deputy leader Zack Polanski was also among the demonstrators. He said on Twitter: “Today I was at Pride in Manchester – I’m now at the Queer Night Pride March in Clapham, London where two people were attacked.
“It’s a stark reminder in all the celebrating of progress – we must stand in solidarity against hate crime.”
— Zack Polanski 💚 (@ZackPolanski) August 27, 2023
The politician added in a further post that the Green Party “stands with the LGBTIQA+ community.”
“Only love can face hate”
Giving a speech at the demonstration’s meeting point was Ejel Khan, founder of the Muslim LGBT network. He told the crowd: “Only light can shut up darkness. Only love can face hate. Take out your anger by being together in solidarity. We’re here to stay and we’re not going away.”
The march ended at Clapham’s Arch Bar, where QNP members gave moving speeches to the crowd.
“I think it’s horrendous that something like [the recent attacks] have happened in this day and age,” attendee Lynn told us. “The political climate is stirring up hate against everybody, but we need to fight that.”
“As a non-binary and bisexual person, I think we need to live in a society where people are free to be themselves without fear of violence,” they added.
QNP said that the demonstration was in response to “the massive rise in hate crimes” against LGBTQ+ people in the UK. As well as this month’s double stabbing in Clapham, a gay couple were assaulted in Brixton after attending UK Black Pride.
“Queer Night Pride is a display of strength from our community. We’re not going to hide away or turn in on ourselves,” organisation member Dan Glass said.
“We’ve always had to fight back collectively and fight back on the streets.”
The Met Police is still searching for a person of interest in the case of the two recent stabbings. It shared CCTV images of “a man we want to identify” on its Twitter account.
We have issued new images of a man we want to identify following a homophobic attack outside the Two Brewers in #Clapham.
Do you recognise him?
If you can help pls call 101 quote CAD7198/13Aug.
Read more 👇https://t.co/CqlCZrZpYW pic.twitter.com/wNPPFn5ZWl
— Lambeth Police | Central South BCU (@LambethMPS) August 16, 2023
It has urged anyone who recognises the person to come forward by calling 101 and quoting the reference CAD7198/13Aug.
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