Following a two-week string of gay-bashings, one of which ended with the shooting death of a man in the West Village, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has organized a protest march and rally, scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, to protest the violence. ”These heinous bias attacks against gay men are unacceptable,” Quinn said, “and we will not be made to walk our streets in fear.”
By Nathan James
The incidents, all of which occurred in Manhattan, began May 5 outside Madison Square Garden, when a gay couple, walking arm-in-arm, was set upon and beaten by as many as eight men, all of whom the NYPD is still looking for. On May 7, a young gay man was beaten in Union Square, and another gay man leaving the popular bar, Pieces, was pummeled to the ground on May 8.
Then, on May 9, another gay couple was attacked at the W. 33rd Street PATH subway station, by two men who were caught in the act by Port Authority cops. Finally, yesterday morning, 32-year-old openly gay Mark Carson was shot to death by a suspect bellowing anti-gay slurs in the Papaya Dog restaurant at West 8th Street and Sixth Avenue.
The march will begin promptly at 5:30 PM in front of the LGBT Community Center at 208 West 13th Street, and proceed to the site of Carson’s murder, where a rally and vigil will take place. ”LGBT leaders, elected officials, community members and allies will be marching,” Quinn, a Democratic mayoral candidate, observed, “to demand an end to hate crimes against the community.”
As many twelve suspects remain at large in the various incidents, and anyone with information about any or all of these attacks is asked to call the Crime Stoppers hotline at (1-800) 577-TIPS.