R.I.P. Sophie Lancaster

Today marks 5 years since the death of Sophie Lancaster, a 20 year old girl who was attacked while walking home with her 21 year old boyfriend.
They were both violently beaten with no provocation, so severely that some of Sophie's dreadlocks were ripped from her scalp. Probably as they jumped up and down on her head. Sophie died in hospital after 13 days in a coma and her boyfriend Robert was also in a coma and was left brain damaged once he woke up.

The reason for this attack was the way they were dressed. The attackers viciously assualted two people for being Goths and were then heard bragging to friends about the "good thing" they had done and that their friends should "come see the 2 nearly dead moshers in the park".
They killed a woman, runied a man's mind and destroyed the lives of everyone who loved them.
And then they laughed about it.

Five people were arrested and convicted for the crimes, although three of them were only convicted of GBH and were sentenced to less than 5 years.

A foundation has been set up in Sophie's name run by her mother to educate people on alternative sub cultures and to campaign to have the laws in regards to hate crimes altered to include attacks on members of the alternative community because in her mother's words "The thing that makes me most angry is that it is seen as an isolated incident, maybe the seriousness of what happened to Sophie is isolated, but attacks are far from isolated. Just because you follow a different culture you are targeted; you are seen as easy pickings."

If you're wondering why I took the time to write this, when I didn't know her, it's because it's important that people remember what happened. As long as people are allowed to forget and pretend that they didn't happen or that they weren't as serious or as common as they are then nothing will ever change.

The foundation set up in her name is called:
Stamp Out Hatred Predjudice and Intolerance Everywhere

August 24th, 2012 at 06:51pm