Building Safe Inclusive Communities
October 15, 2009, 2:08 PM EST
Hundreds of London residents, including a number of CAW members, came together on October 7 to demand peaceful and safe communities, in light of two recent violent attacks on gay men.
Demonstrators of all ages were equipped with colourful banners and messages of support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community. The rally was organized by Diversity Training Live, PFLAG London and the CAW.
London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best said that she doesn't want London residents to live in fear. "I don't want my London or your London to be a place where someone is walking down the street and needs to look over their shoulder," DeCicco-Best was quoted saying in an article that appeared on LondonTopic.ca.
She stressed that if the community continues to work together, hate crime can be stopped. DeCicco-Best was joined by city councillors Roger Caranci and Brian Orser.
CAW Local 27 President Tim Carrie also addressed the crowd and brought greetings and support on behalf of the entire union. He said that the union has made a great deal of effort in the last number of years to educate both members and employers about harassment and the issues faced by LGBT members and their families.
"In order for the union to be strong, our members must act in solidarity with one another, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, ability or otherwise," said Carrie. "This principle must also be applied to our communities to have a stronger city, a stronger province and a more just country for all."
The recent incidents in London have spurred a great deal of concern in the area. According to London Deputy Police Chief Brad Duncan, who also spoke at the rally, London police investigate an average of 30 hate crimes a year, 30 per cent of which involve victims within the LGBT community.