17-24-30 represents the dates that the three London nail bombs were planted, 17th April – Brixton Market, Brixton, 24th April – Brick Lane and the 30th April – the Admiral Duncan, Soho.
In April 1999 David Copeland set out to attack the Black, Asian and Gay communities of Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho hoping that it would create a climate of fear which would eventually lead to the election of the BNP. Over the course of three weeks he planted three nail bombs which killed three people and injured many more.
Luckily he was caught and his plan failed, but his acts of hatred remind us that there will always be those out there who seek to attack and harm us so we need to remain vigilant and work together to protect and strengthen our communities.
17-24-30 believes that it is important to bring people together.
The gatherings are important to those of us who have been affected by the attacks, they bring our local communities together, and provide us, our families and friends – with the support and opportunity to gather and remember our loved ones. They also enable us to engage with old friends and newcomers as well, drawing comfort from each other and being able to exchange our experiences, thoughts and feelings.
They also provide an opportunity for our communities to raise awareness and reflect upon what has happened, so we can educate the next generation and ensure that we reduce the chances of this happening again.
17-24-30 believes that it is important to remember those we’ve lost, and those still with us.
Three people were killed and more than 130 injured during Copeland’s three bomb attacks, however the impact of these horrific events rippled across our communities affecting many people who lived, worked or socialised in these areas, those who were connected to those caught up in the attacks, and those who saw the aftermath of these events in the media.
At least 48 people were injured when the first device exploded in the crowded Brixton Market. Among those taken to hospital was a 23-month-old baby with a nail in his head.
A week later, 13 people were injured when the second bomb exploded in Brick Lane.
The most serious attack took place in Soho. A pipe bomb containing 1,500 nails exploded in the crowded Admiral Duncan pub. Three friends Andrea Dykes 27, John Light 32 and Nick Moore, 31 died in the blast and more than 70 were injured.
17-24-30 believes that it is important to show our support for those affected by hate crime.
Each year, the gathering in St Anne’s Garden has got smaller and smaller as some of those directly involved in the attacks have moved on with their lives in different ways. Some feel that the acts of remembrance should be more low-key whilst others believe that our communities has a duty to encourage more people to engage with these events, to forge new friendships with those who continue to gather so that they are not alone.
Which raises the question how do we provide support for those involved? not just in the short and medium term, but in the long-term as well? What support do people need?
17-24-30 exists to look at how we can provide this ongoing support and facilitate the annual acts of remembrance. We keep channels of communication open with some of those directly involved in the attacks, and some of the family members of those who died – so that they are consulted and involved in what we do. We also liaise locally with people living in these areas now, working together with the local authorities to signpost support to those that need it wherever we can.
17-24-30 believes we need to continue to develop and build better relations between and within our communities.
David Copeland set out to divide us by creating an atmosphere of fear in our communities – hoping that in the chaos he was causing the BNP would come to power. Although he acted alone, we know that there will be others influenced by the same right-wing propaganda that he was influenced by, so we need to remain vigilant and look out for each other.
It is hoped that 17-24-30 will continue to encourage people across the Black, Asian and Gay communities to work with each other to develop local projects to tackle hate crime. We will continue to engage people through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, sign-posting local support services. Whilst at the same time building stronger links with local organisations, businesses and authorities so we can help them engage more local people and further the 17-24-30 No to Hate Crime Campaign.
In September 2009 Ian Baynham was homophobically abused by two girls in Trafalgar Square. When he challenged their unacceptable behaviour he was punched and knocked to the ground, then viciously kicked in the head as he lay on the floor. A couple of weeks later he died from his injuries.
At a meeting of the Westminster Central Police Community Consultative Forum at St Anne’s Church Mark Healey proposed holding a vigil for Ian Baynham in Trafalgar Square. Later that evening he set up the event on Facebook. Overnight a hundred people joined the event, and over the course of the next two weeks thousands joined the campaign.
On the 30th October 2009, 10,000 people joined 17-24-30 in Trafalgar Square to state that all forms of hate crime are unacceptable in our communities, and in the heart of london, with more people supporting the event around the world on-line.
A year later on the 23rd October 2010, the event was repeated again with speakers including Stuart Milk, Harvey Milks nephew joining us from the states. Similar events were held around the country, and in Vancover (Canada) 300 people gathered on the step of City Hall.
Our next vigil is scheduled for Friday 28th October 2011.
17-24-30 strives to continue the campaign against hate crime by continuing to support the local acts of remembrance in April, and the much larger Vigil against Hate Crime in October.
For more information check out our website http://www.17-24-30.com/ or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Also please follow us on Facebook (17-24-30 group, 17-24-30 No to Hate Crime Campaign, International Hate Crime Day: Hope and Remembrance) and twitter #HateCrimeVigil.