Police and politicians will join together this evening at the Geffrye Museum in Kingsland Road in an event designed to raise awareness about homophobic crime in east London.
The event, organised by Hackney Community Engagement Board, is taking place just days after the proposed date for a cancelled pride march in the area. The East End Gay Pride march, due to take place on Saturday, was cancelled as it was revealed that Raymond Berry, one of the organisers, was previously a member of the far right English Defence League and anti-Muslim groups. The march came about as an attempt to combat homophobia, following the appearance of several ‘Gay-Free Zone’ posters in the East End.
Metropolitan Police borough Commander Steve Bending and London Assembly Member Jeanette Arnold will join local MP Meg Hiller to promote tolerance in the area. They will lead talks with local residents about how homophobic crime impacts the community and consider strategies for dealing with it.
Elliot Pettigrew, a local resident who plans to attend the event said: “I was thinking of attending the scheduled pride march on Saturday, but once I heard that it was being led by a former member of the EDL I decided against it. I’m glad it was cancelled. The gay community should promote tolerance and I think this event will.”
By Kate Lloyd