By Mark Healey
Welcome to issue 14 of our UK Hate Crime Sector Newsletter.
Last Thursday, my partner and I joined the ‘Great Queue’ to pay our respects to the Queen lying in state at Westminster Hall. We begun our journey at about 10 pm and arrived at our destination at about 7.30 am Friday morning.
Was it worth it? somebody asked me on social media.
Yes it was I replied and if there was the opportunity to do it again I would do so without skipping a heartbeat. My only reservation would be to ensure that everyone else who wanted to participate was able to do so as well.
It was a priviledge to spend 9.5 hours with people from across the world, who started as strangers and parted as friends. We walked together, we stood together, we embrace the cold night air together, warming each other with our stories and smiles, and we welcomed the sunrise as we passed through the ‘snake’ together.
No one battered an eye-lid at two gay men, a Muslim and a Christian, occaisionally holding hands, participating in this event.
As I paused briefly in the Great Hall to pay my respects I thanked the Queen for her messages of support to our communities during some of our darkest times, during which she helped uplift the spirits of many. I’ll miss her Christmas messages that brought me comfort when I was apart from family and friends.
I thought again of my grandparents, especially my mother’s father who was killed during the Second World War, when she was 2 years old. Appreciating the generation that made the greatest of sacrifices for the peace and many freedoms we have enjoyed for many years.
I thought of my mother’s pride when she was presented to the Queen for her charity work with the Ladies Auxilary connected to the Licensed Victualler’s Schools, to which the Queen was Patron. Being schooled in values that have been so important throughout my life.
I thought about my time carrying the Olympic Torch during the London Olympics, and her Majestys role in those Games. The honour I felt carrying the Olympic Flame on the same day as Doreen Lawrence, passing it between representatives from the communities I have worked with tackling hate crime.
For me, the Queen has always represented something good about our country, upholding universal human values and behaviours (sometimes referred to as British values but they are not unqiue to us) that are shared by decent people across all nations.
She was Cool Britainia, she was the London Olympics, she was the inclusive Jubilee which many celebrated earlier this year – during which a contingent of LGBT+ members celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pride in London were included. In many ways she has been a near-perfect role model of everything a good leader should be.
Now, Queen Elizabeth has made her final journey from London to Windsor were she will be buried by, and alongside her love ones.
I understand that not everyone shares my feelings about the Queen, or indeed the Monarchy.
But I do hope that following her example, we can explore ways to overcome our differences, to bring an end to hate and prejudice within our communities, and plot a way forward in peace together.
- Welcome by Mark Healey
- Newsletter contents
17-24-30 National Hate Crime Awareness Week CIO Updates
- Act of Hope and Remembrance for those affected by Hate Crime.
- Free Resources for 300 London-based organisations
- Free PDF NatioanlHCAW Resources
- We need volunteers in London
- NationalHCAW Resource Collection Days
- Appeal for Statements of Support 2022
- Some Statements of Support we have received.
- UK Hate Crime Network group on Linkedin
- On Your Side.
- 17-24-30 NationalHCAW Linktree