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Protest against violence

by Editorial Staff in Nightlife & Reports , 10 november 2010


On Sunday the fifth of September, over a thousand people assembled on Dam square to protest against increasing anti-gay violence. The protest was organised by action group “Right to Feel Safe," after a wave of violent incidents against gays and lesbians in last couple of months. From Dam square, the participants marched to several spots where gays have been harassed or beaten up. There, posters were nailed up with information on the incidents. The protest march continued walking through the Kalverstraat, along the Spui, to end at the Gay Monument on Westermarkt.

After a large number of homophobe incidents, hundreds of people had already protested against increasing anti-gay violence on June 13. That manifestation had its starting point at the Gay Monument, followed by a protest march through the Kalverstraat, halting at Rembrandtplein. According to the action group, the protest seemed effective. In the following weeks, the city council was addressed, and the media paid attention to homophobic violence.


Later, a number of new cases of homophobic violence arose, victimising both men and women. This was the main reason the action group organised a second demonstration.

During the demonstration, a man participating in the march was beaten up. Little is known about the assault. According to witnesses, it involved two women or girls. But according to a spokes person of the police, the incident had nothing to do with the demonstration.

However, the police will treat the incident as homophobia-related violence, as the girls supposedly expressed themselves “in a manner resembling insulting behaviour towards homosexuals. According to LGTB organisation COC, it supposedly was the result of an out-of-control traffic spat. The argument had started on a bicycle on the Raadhuisstraat. But later it turned out, there were many other incidents during the demonstration, which is a first.

According to spokeswoman Fya Hopelezz, the action group 'Right to Feel Safe' was overwhelmed with reports of further incidents the day after the demonstration. A number of boys on motor scooters drove into the protesters several times. A group of lesbians were threatened, abused and had beer cans thrown at them.

Also, several arguments needed to be pacified. 'This makes me very sad. This plainly and painfully reveals the current situation in Amsterdam,' says Hopelezz. 'The gay community is furious. Furious about the violence, but also because everyone keeps saying that gay bashing isn't that much of a problem in Amsterdam.'



 







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