Volunteers gathering in Shoreditch to remove East End ‘gay hate’ stickers
PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 February 2011
A GROUP of residents are gathering this morning to ‘love bomb’ the streets of London’s East End after homophobic ‘anti gay’ stickers were plastered in several neighbourhoods.
The ‘hate’ stickers declared a ‘Gay Free zone’ warning that ‘Allah is severe in punishment.’
They appeared on buildings and lamp-posts in Whitechapel and Spitalfields last weekend—some outside a school.
Wendy Richardson, an actress from Hackney, is turning up outside Shoreditch Town Hall in Old Street at 9am with four friends and is hoping for other volunteers.
They will go round covering any remaining stickers with their own ‘messages of love.’
“It’s about people going to work this-morning and seeing something beautiful in place of those hurtful stickers,” she said.
“Everyone has an obligation to make sure people have rights and dignity. It’s a question of doing something to counter the hate.”
A community activist who first spotted the stickers outside Swanley School in Whitechapel has removed up to 20 in his neighbourhood and has informed the head-teacher that pupils were being targeted.
He told the East London Advertiser: “It looks as if extremists were trying to reach young people on their way into school.
“The stickers are a reminder that there are extremists on the streets targeting the young with a message of hate.”
So today’s ‘show of solidarity’ to counter the homophobia is aimed at commuters with the message that people should “not be afraid” to report such incidents to police.
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell claims he has been attacked three times by youths in Brick Lane shouting religious slogans. His friends living in the area were “afraid to reveal their sexuality.”
Tower Hamlets council said it was appalled by those responsible for the stickers which were being investigated by its Hate Crime team working with police.
It is the second hate campaign to hit the East End in just eight weeks, after posters appeared in Poplar in December referring to Christmas as “evil” and carrying an extremist Islamist message.