Letters of support from the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition

Political Leaders

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, wrote:

“I strongly back this year’s Hate Crime Awareness Week which once again raises this important issue around the country.
 
Crimes motivated by hatred have no place in modern-day Britain and I know that communities all over the country are united in their condemnation of such despicable acts.
 
Hate crime manifests itself in many ways: from homophobic bullying and harassment of people with disabilities to acts of terrorism perpetrated in the name of religion and those who target entire communities in a twisted form of retribution.
 
This year I joined other politicians, public figures and ordinary people with the family of Stephen Lawrence to remember his death twenty years on. It was a stark reminder of the devastation caused by hate crime.
 
Next year is the 15th anniversary of another appalling act – that of the nail bomb attacks in London which killed three people and injured many more. These were not just attacks on the African-Caribbean, Bangladeshi and LGBT communities – they were attacks on us all.
 
While these dreadful acts happened some time ago, sadly hate crimes still take place. Therefore, it’s important that victims have the confidence to come forward either to the police or to support groups, such as the 17-24-30 organisation. And it’s just as important that police, prosecutors and courts do everything in their powers to pursue offenders and bring them to justice.
 
That’s why earlier this year I set up a task force to oversee how government is tackling extremism. This brings together key departments: education, health, home office and justice to ensure the system not only pursues and prosecutes offenders but prevents crimes happening in the first place.
 
I do believe that a lot of progress has been made over the years but we must all recognise that still more needs to be done if we are to say that the job is complete.
 
This is why raising awareness of the issue is so crucial and it is heartening to see so many people taking part in events up and down the country this week to get the message across. We will see solidarity vigils in public spaces, venues will be hosting special training and educational events, and volunteers will be distributing leaflets in our towns and cities.
 
Meanwhile, other organisations and venues will highlight the issue in a more colourful way by ‘painting the town purple’, with bright decorations and posters. The week then culminates with the International Day of Hope and Remembrance for those affected by hate crime.
 
Let us all join in remembering those who have been killed or affected by hatred and let it give us hope that crimes like these are stopped. We owe that to the memory of those who have lost their lives to hatred.”

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said:

“As we mark the start of Hate Crime Awareness week, my thoughts are with all of you who have suffered as a result of these deplorable and cowardly acts against individuals and entire sections of our society.

“Your strength and unity reminds us all that hate crime must be challenged.  Hate crime is always an attack on the core values and freedoms which underpin our society. Standing together in this way is the greatest show of strength for those who suffer hate crimes, and demonstrates the greatest condemnation of those who commit them.

“This Government stands with you.”

And the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband  stated:

The Act of Remembrance and Renewal provides an opportunity to remember all those affected by hate crimes. The act of lighting a candle of hope is not just about remembering; It is also positive affirmation of our collective commitment to speak up and speak out against hatred and persecution.

As we approach the fourth year since the appalling murder of Ian Baynham in Trafalgar Square, the annual events of Hate Crime Awareness Week play a vital role in bringing communities together across the country.

We have come a long way on the journey against homophobia and transphobia. I am proud of the part that Labour MPs and Peers played in securing the successful passage of equal marriage through Parliament. Britain is better because of equal marriage.

Together, we have brought equality closer, from ending Section 28 to outlawing discrimination in the workplace in the everyday provision of goods and services.

But there is still unfinished business.

For every young person scared to come out or facing bullying in the playground, we still have a job to do. For every gay couple abused in the street, we still have a hob to do. For every victim attacked for simply being who they are, we still have a job to do.

I know that Britain is better than the prejudice and hatred directed at too many lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people. As you gather at events and vigils throughout Hate Crime Awareness Week remember those who have suffered, and be restless for change.

Together we can build a more equal and just society.”

2013 Awareness Week Logo

Comment by Mark Healey, 17-24-30 No to Hate Crime Campaign

I’m very pleased to receive these important messages of support from our Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

Four years on from the death of Ian Baynham the organisation 17-24-30 has established October as the month where we encourage people across the UK and abroad to do something to tackle hate crime in our communities. It is good to see people working together in partnership with each other, with their local police and councils, promoting and supporting local anti-hate crime initiatives.

I hope this week will inspire more people to get involved. That we can continue to build upon the National Hate Crime Awareness Week each year until there is absolutely no place for hate in any of our communities.

Once this week is over let’s start planning for next year. In April we mark the 15th anniversary of the London Nail Bomb attacks on Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho.

Hate Crime Awareness Week 2014 will take place between the 11th – 18th October 2014.

Hate Crime 2014

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About 172430notohatecrime

Founder of 17-24-30 No to Hate Crime Campaign
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