14 years on and another set of anniversaries is passing us by.
17-24-30 the dates of the three nail bomb attacks that took place in April 1999 when David Copeland set out to stir up fear and hatred by launching a series of attacks targeting the Black, Asian and Gay communities of Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho.
Whilst many people have moved on with their lives, this time of the year can be quite painful for some. Especially those who were there, those who experienced what happened first hand, those who lost family and friends, those who felt that their communities were under attack and those who read and watched the reports in the news as these horrific events unfolded.
The bombings in Boston last week served as a painful reminder leading up to this year’s anniversary in Brixton. They made the act of remembrance on the 17th April that more significant as we gathered to remember the first bomb planted in Brixton Market which injured 47 people including a small child who had a nail embedded in his skull.
We had more volunteers turn up this year, more people helping to light the candles, hand out leaflets and spend time talking to passers-by who shared their experiences with us. The lucky man whose friend had just stumbled from a nearby pub and who has just walked away from the market as the bomb exploded, the mother with child now 13 who was pregnant with the child shopping in the area at the time.
Each person deals with this time of year differently – some don’t want to be reminded about it at all whilst other think it is important that we make sure our communities never forget – to ensure that we remain vigilant so it does not happen again and we are there for those who need on-going support.
Which is why we never expect individuals to attend but always expect the wider communities to show their support – which they can do in many ways.
17-24-30 believes that whatever happens it is important to be there and show our support to those that need it. Whether it is for the few people who turn up in Brixton and Brick Lane each year or the hundred or so people who gather in Soho.
Annually we gather on the anniversaries of these events at 6pm and we are asking you to make the time to show your support too. Come along and stand with us, talk with our volunteers, meet people and make new friends – help us make sure that as people naturally move on with their lives that those who remain are not left feeling isolated and alone.
24th April Brick Lane Remembers 17-24-30. This year we had a brilliant turn out, nine volunteers turned up to hand out information and speak to passers-by. Some local shop keepers came over and said that it was good to see us again and we engaged in some positive conversations with people. Sadly the owners of the Sweet and Spicy Restaurant have retired and sold up so we moved to Chillies restaurant which is a few doors down.
30th April join us at 6pm at The Admiral Duncan before we walk round to St Anne’s Garden, Wardour St for a short service lead by Rev Simon Buckley, a few words by Mark Healey and members of the Moore family and a song by the Diversity Choir,
In whatever way you can – make time to show your support. If you can’t join us then share this post and comment on-line. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and think about making a donation to support our ongoing campaign to encourage people to work together to tackle all forms of hate crime in our communities.