Thursday, September 11, 2008

"police refused to give any details about their backgrounds"

"If I were Mr Cohen I'd stop worrying about 'respect' and start worrying about the gay clubs of Leicester and Burnley"

First they came for the prostitutes, then ...

THE East End’s gay community has declared ‘enough is enough’ after a young man was left fighting for his life following a brutal homophobic stabbing by a gang of youths. A 20-year-old, known as Olly, was stabbed seven times in the back and chest, outside a gay-friendly pub this week. He remains in a critical condition in hospital and police have launched an attempted murder investigation.

Both Bethnal Green and Bow MP George Galloway and Abjol Miah, the leader of the Respect group at Tower Hamlets council, have called for all communities to condemn last week’s attack in Boundary Street. With 47 homophobic attacks in Tower Hamlets over the last 12 months, one man called the Advertiser to say: “It’s time we stood up for ourselves. I’m fed up with people almost excusing this kind of violence.”

Police have branded last Thursday’s assault as “evil” and are treating it as homophobic. Cops believe the 20-year-old had been walking to the gay-friendly George and Dragon pub in Hackney Road with a woman when he was attacked at the junction of Boundary Street and Austin Street in Shoreditch onThursday.

He was hounded by a group of around five teenage boys, hit over the head with a glass bottle then stabbed seven times in the back and chest. He underwent life-saving surgery at Whitechapel’s Royal London Hospital on Friday morning.
The stabbing is also being linked to an assault in the same area 24 hours before in which a man and woman were both attacked and were kicked and punched by a group of youths.

Det Insp Howard Way, of Tower Hamlets police, condemned the attack as “evil”, but although it was being treated as a homophobic crime, he was keeping an open mind about motive.

Three men have been arrested, but police refused to give any details about their backgrounds.
The commenters at Pink News aren't so coy.

I’m sorry to break it to you but I know for a fact that this attack was carried out by a group of Bengali lads. They had already had an argument with a group of guys who came out of the George and Dragon after goading them for being gay, then fired up by that 10 minutes later they charged at the victim attacking him ferociously. They are part of a known Bengali gang who have been causing trouble over the past few years, some of it homophobic. Recently a lesbian woman was attacked coming out of a local restaurant on Calvert Avenue. I myself have had stones thrown at me by them when walking home from the G&D.

It's not racist to acknowledge this fact – purely pragmatic. As a gay man living on the Boundary Estate where the attack took place I want to know who to be looking out for and be able to call the police helpline when a gang is looking threatening or up to no good. And that doesn’t preclude me from recognising that the vast majority of Bengali people are peace-loving and friendly, like those living in my block.

But we have to accept the fact that there is a growing extremist islamofascist strain of islam that is preaching hatred against gay and lesbian people and this is filtering down to the streets. Why is it wrong to condemn this? In precisely the way that we would condemn anti-Semitism, racism or homophobia from any other group.