Nick Clegg's Statement of Support for St Paul's Act of Remembrance
Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats, has issued a statement of support for the Act of Remembrance at St Paul's Cathedral this evening, which marks the first National Hate Crime Awareness week, 13th-19th October:
"To all victims of hate crime,
"Everyone has the right to live without fear or persecution. Whatever the colour of your skin, the religion or faith you follow, the disability you live with, or the person you fall in love with, you should be able to live without prejudice.
"Sadly, I know that the real world isn't that simple. The facts are stark and disturbing. The latest police data shows that nearly forty four thousand hate crimes were recorded in just one year. And because we know that these crimes are under reported, the actual figure is probably much higher.
"Some people are against specific hate crime laws - those opposed will say 'crime is crime, special protections aren't needed'; they make proclamations about 'protecting free speech'; they say it's unnecessary because the crimes covered are already illegal. This misses the point.
"The protections are needed to help prevent hate crime from happening in the first place. Victims and their friends and relatives need support in the event of hate crime. The police and other agencies must have the ability to track and deal with these crimes and have the power to act accordingly.
"Hate crimes attack individuals, but their impact often goes much wider - they affect whole communities, erode the sense of security and instil fear in its place. It is never 'just' a crime.
"The nail bomb attacks were an atrocity that shook London, and the memory of those attacks is still chilling to this day. Today, we come together to stand against hate crime in every form. Thousands of people will gather around the country, and across the globe, in April Acts of Remembrance. Through this collective strength we forge stronger links, better communities, and build a more tolerant society."
The London Vigil against Hate Crime will take place on Saturday 20th October 2012 between 7pm - 9pm in Trafalgar Square, London whilst others take place around the UK and abroad. The London Vigil is organised by 17-24-30 in partnership with the Harvey Milk Foundation. 17-24-30 was founded in April 2009 to mark the 10th Anniversary of the London Nail Bomb attacks on Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho. Its main purpose is to organise and facilitate the April Acts of Remembrance to mark the anniversaries of these horrific attacks on black, Asian and gay people in London and to remind us that we need to continue to work together to stop hate crime happening in our communities.
Chair LGBT+ Liberal Democrats, Adrian Trett "welcomed the statement of support from the Deputy Prime Minister for today's Act of Remembrance Vigil against Hate Crime at St.Paul's Cathedral. Liberal Democrats recognise that in today's world any hate crime is intolerable and unacceptable and that everyone works together to ensure that we build a world where these crimes are eradicated and people live in peace and harmony without fear or persecution."