Students organize flash protest against recent anti-gay hate crimes
About 70 students met in Red Square this afternoon for a flash protest against the recent anti-gay hate crimes.
The rally was organized by Carter Lavin (SFS ’10), a supporter of LGBTQ rights but not a member of GU Pride. Lavin said he was so upset upon hearing about the most recent incident, the assault that occurred at 36th and N Streets early this morning, that he couldn’t focus on his work and decided to organize a protest.
Lavin spread the word by texting 40 to 50 of his friends, many of whom spread the word on Twitter.
“I hope people start caring, start noticing,” Lavin says. “[I think the protest is important] so we can say students reacted.”
Joseph Graumann (SFS ’11), Co-Chair of GU Pride said he was “dismayed” by the recent hate crimes but was glad that the LGBTQ community at Georgetown has such strong allies and was “amazed that someone took it upon themselves” to plan the protest.
Graumann said that the campus climate has improved significantly since the 2007 hate crimes that prompted the creation of the LGBTQ Center, but work still needs to be done to “raise awareness that hate is a problem on campus.”
“When LGBTQ students are targeted it’s scary,” Graumann said.
According to Graumann, GU Pride is planning to hold a community event later this week.
During the rally, students made a circle around Red Square and shouted chants “Hate crimes are ridiculous / My Georgetown is better than this!” and “Georgetown students are under attack / What do we do? Stand up, fight back!”
Update 9:30 p.m. There will be a vigil tomorrow night in Red Square at 8:30 p.m. For more information, check out the Facebook event.
Photos by Helen Burton