Content Warning: Contains descriptions of violence, murder, homophobia
Mass crowds continue to gather in cities across Spain to protest the brutal murder of Samuel Luiz over the weekend. Protestors attending the demonstrations are seen clapping and chanting while waving Pride flags in solidarity.
24-year-old nursing assistant, Samuel Luiz was fatally beaten outside a nightclub in Galicia, Spain after a man threatened him using homophobic slurs. Spanish police have arrested three people in connection with Samuel’s murder.
— Adrián Sánchez Berger (@sanchezberger) July 5, 2021
Politicians from progressive political parties and activists alike took to Twitter to demand answers on why riot police were responding with aggression towards the protests occurring throughout the week.
No entendemos la desproporcionalidad de la actuación de la policía en estas imágenes tras la concentración pidiendo #JusticiaPorSamuel. Exigimos una explicación @MercedesDS21 . https://t.co/tpoFFmojOJ
— Mónica García (@Monica_Garcia_G) July 5, 2021
Samuel’s friends told leading Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, that he had stepped out of the club to make a video call when two men accused him of trying to film them on his phone. Luiz explained he was talking to a friend by video, but he was allegedly attacked by one of the passersby and left with a badly bruised face.
Five minutes later, the assailant allegedly returned with 12 others who beat Luiz into unconsciousness. He was taken to hospital, where he died later on Saturday morning.
Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, condemned the killing and offered his condolences to Luiz’s friends and family. “I’m confident that the police investigation will soon find those who murdered Samuel and shed light on what happened,” he tweeted on Monday. “It was a savage and merciless act. We will not take a step backwards when it comes to rights and freedoms and Spain will not tolerate this.”
Confío en que la investigación de @policia dé pronto con los autores del asesinato de Samuel y esclarezca los hechos. Fue un acto salvaje y despiadado.
No daremos ni un paso atrás en derechos y libertades. España no lo va a tolerar. Todo mi apoyo a su familia y seres queridos.
— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) July 5, 2021
Campaigners said the attack on Samuel Luiz was proof of the violence to which LGBTQ+ people are still subjected. “We are being abused and murdered for being LGBTI,” the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals said in a statement on Twitter. “We will not rest.”
The federation said that while events such as Pride made it easy to “celebrate diversity for one month a year, this will not stop until we are all 100% committed to it forever”.
The tragic death of Samuel Luiz has occurred at a time where anti-LGBTQ+ violence is currently rife in Europe as far-right groups continue to make attempts to suppress Pride celebrations across European cities through brute force and aggression.
Earlier this week, the Pride march in Tbilisi, Georgia was cancelled after a mob of far-right homophobes scaled a building and stormed the Pride organisers office.
GCN stands in solidarity with Europe’s collective LGBTQ+ groups and activists in protest against these offences.
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