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murdered by homophobes

murdered by homophobes
Originally uploaded by Jeremy Dennis.
If you've never felt it, it's hard to explain how it is to have someone wanting to kill you just because of what (they perceive that) you are. Faced with that level of hate, what is there to do?

There have been a bunch of rampages in the news over the past week or so -- probably some new and spectacularly nasty drug mix doing the rounds -- but none so horrible as the teenaged gang (four boys and two girls) who started on the people leaving Heaven and worked their way down the South Bank, targeting fags, the french, anyone else who pissed them off.

As you've probably guessed from the flowers, somebody died; a guy called David Morley who was chatting with mates on the South Bank, which (frankly) is just something you do. I was doing it last night. It's a nice place; populated, friendly, great views, and any time of day and night there's enough skaters and graffiti artists about you won't feel lonely. On the way to see my sister, we walked past the pile of flowers and candles. I tried photographing that, but ... I don't know, I'm not so good with expressions of grief.

I photographed a couple of withered flowers on a bench nearby, instead (Guardian Unlimited says that was where he was chatting to friends), feeling very angry. Even though I knew they'd caught the people responsible, and that these peoples' lives were now effectively over; I was angry because they had expected that beating someone up wouldn't matter, wouldn't have any consequences.

Ten to one their defence will be, "but I didn't mean to..."

... and the worst of it is, some fucking jury might even let them off for that.


( 22 worms — Feed the birds )
8th Nov, 2004 17:49 (UTC)
I expect those kinds of crimes will be on the rise here in Fascist America too now. :-( I watched a program on PBS with a prune faced Right Wing Christian who was talking about their commitment to getting a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage. In case you don't know--- Amending the Constitution is a pretty big fucking deal here and you don't go doing to limit people's rights--usually it's been the other way around. GOD HELP US ALL!!
9th Nov, 2004 03:23 (UTC)
(hollow laughter)
Yes -- here's an absolutely priceless report about Texas' State Board of Education struggling to pass a teachers' edition of a textbook:

"One passage in a teachers' edition says that "surveys indicate that 3 to 10 percent of the population is gay. No one knows for sure why some people are straight, some are bisexual and others are gay."

"Leo wanted to replace those sentences with: "Opinions vary on why homosexuals, lesbians and bisexuals as a group are more prone to self-destructive behaviors like depression, illegal drug use and suicide."

get the rest of the story

Might be time for Texans to start considering educating their children in other states ...
9th Nov, 2004 05:10 (UTC)
Re: (hollow laughter)
Texas should be in Mexico!
9th Nov, 2004 08:40 (UTC)
come now,
a mate of mine lives in Austin ...

(can't really see him having kids though)
8th Nov, 2004 18:47 (UTC)
Scaryscaryscary. I can't think of anything intelligent to say; I'm too disturbed. Are the kids old enough to be tried as adults? I hope they're locked up forever, and there are no copycat crimes.
9th Nov, 2004 04:00 (UTC)
well, of the four boys
one's 17, one's 19, and the other two are 16. But (under UK law) youths can be tried and found guilty of murder, they go into young offender institutions. The 19-year old will be tried as an adult. No word yet on the girls.
9th Nov, 2004 06:24 (UTC)
Re: well, of the four boys
A problem can arise in trials like this where it can't always be identified which individuals were specifically responsible for the death. And they will all try and blame each other, and the verdicts have to be beyond all reasonable doubt etc - I'd be very surprised to see a murder conviction.

I can't put into words how angry and upset I feel about this murder.
9th Nov, 2004 08:55 (UTC)
or they all refuse to admit to it,
or they all tell different stories, which amounts to the same. It's a well-known dodge among young people looking to evade blame ...

However, the presence of witnesses (and there is at least one witness) makes this game a lot harder to play. I'd be surprised to see six murder convictions. But I think we'll see some convictions for something.
8th Nov, 2004 19:18 (UTC)
I'll never understand how every punch they land doesn't hurt them just as much...and how their heart doesn't break with every tear and plea for help.
9th Nov, 2004 03:41 (UTC)
I doubt there was time for that
by all accounts, everything happened extremely fast.
9th Nov, 2004 05:41 (UTC)
Re: I doubt there was time for that
Then I hope hearts are breaking and tears are falling now. I know things like this should make me SO FURIOUS, but I always end up crying instead. At first.
9th Nov, 2004 00:34 (UTC)
A lot of scary shit is going down in London now. Why? I've felt safe here, especially places like Charing Cross Road and the South Bank, even in the middle of the night. I'm very disturbed by the recent violent hate. What is happening?
9th Nov, 2004 03:46 (UTC)
not just London
... the other night Cowley Road (another of those places which is normally, if not exactly safe, at least well populated at all times) was crawling with people lurching around like zombies yelling threats and propositions at all the women and young men. Some of them were our local junkies and drunks, but others I didn't recognise at all. And this was at tea-time, for pete's sake ...
9th Nov, 2004 01:23 (UTC)
It doesn't make it better but
I really really doubt that the jury will let them off with a slap. In all honesty, the 'hate crime' tag is much more of big deal than it was even a couple of years ago.
9th Nov, 2004 03:40 (UTC)
I really hope so
we could do with a good legal precedent ... but I can all too easily see the "it was just a moment of insanity, do you really want to ruin our young lives over it?" defence being used.
9th Nov, 2004 03:47 (UTC)
Maybe I'm too optimistic
I think even the Daily Mail contingent would be inclined to yell 'Murdering Animals Run Wild" at this point. Oh, and there's been a lot of publicity mentioning the fact that the poor guy was a survivor of the Adm. Duncan bombing. I don't approve of sentimentalising, but but but...
9th Nov, 2004 01:28 (UTC)
Cruelty and violence like this fill me with futile rage and depression. Most of all I cannot comprehend why people do this sort of thing, how can such callousness be the behavior of a rational, intelligent human being?

World of Aliens....
9th Nov, 2004 03:37 (UTC)
Well, animals sure do behave like this. And part of human behaviour, whether we like it or not, is animal behaviour. I expect they were drunk or otherwise off their heads -- given the make-up of the group they were probably very keen to impress each other, too.

I've been beaten up by a gang, so I'm actually pretty clear on why people do this -- it's the way that nasty, stupid people establish dominance in friend groups. Callousness doesn't even come into it; to the aggressors, the victim is completely irrelevant, just a convenience to demonstrate their own brutality.

For further details, watch any decent documentary about chimpanzees.
9th Nov, 2004 06:49 (UTC)
Re: hm
Callousness doesn't even come into it; to the aggressors, the victim is completely irrelevant, just a convenience to demonstrate their own brutality.

Exactly. I think that is what I find most disturbing about crimes like this. The people responsible are difficult to describe as homophobes..they'd settle for anyone significantly different from themselves. Not out of hate, but of nothingness..an utter lack of feeling rather than an excess of feeling.
9th Nov, 2004 08:31 (UTC)
"Homophobia! What unites blacks, whites, boys and girls! The panacea of society's ills - the common foe! Find one today!"

9th Nov, 2004 08:59 (UTC)
don't forget
the french. They also attacked a woman because she was french.

Like you said, disgusting.
( 22 worms — Feed the birds )