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‘Lovebomb’ volunteers remove ‘gay hate’ stickers from East End streets

19:29 18 February 2011

Actress Wendy Richardson (centre) joined by volunteers outside Shoreditch Town Hall ready for street tour to remove 'hate' posters

Actress Wendy Richardson (centre) joined by volunteers outside Shoreditch Town Hall ready for street tour to remove 'hate' posters

Carmen Valino

VOLUNTEERS have removed anti-gay hate stickers from the streets of London’s East End and replaced them with ‘messages of love’ posters.

One of the 'hate' stickers found across the East End

They gathered on the steps of Shoreditch Town Hall today for the first of a series of weekly protest walks to remove stickers from lamp-posts and walls which declare a ‘gay free zone’ and warn that ‘Allah is severe in punishment.’

Actress Wendy Richardson got the group together after spotting a sticker close to her home in Shoreditch—and discovering others had found them in Spitalfields, Bethnal Green, Whitechapel and Mile End.

“We were so angry when these stickers appeared,” Wendy told the East London Advertiser today.

“So we are ‘lovebombing’ wherever they’ve been put up.

Dan Lismore (right) and Wendy Richardson cover over one 'hate' sticker with 'message of love'

“But this is just a start—we’ll be walking the streets every Friday removing them as long as they keep appearing.”

They followed the trail of stickers to two pubs along the Hackney Road where there have been attacks on gays, then cut through to Brick Lane.

One volunteer, 26-year-old performance artist Daniel Lismore, arrived in a bright red Queen’s Guard tunic, red and silver McQueen scarf and silver shoes, his hair almost waist-length.

At 6ft 4ins tall, he stands out in the crowd—and says he has been targetted whenever he leaves his home in Whitechapel because of his appearance and sexuality.

“I get attacked every day—stones thrown at me, even from passing cars,” he revealed. “I get threatened with knives and told I will be killed.”

Tower Hamlets council’s Hate Crime team is working with police and warns it will prosecute those responsible.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman said in a statement earlier: “The East End has a proud history of challenging prejudice and promoting equality. Homophobic hate has no place here.”

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