'Shift the Hate Away' to be held in protest of Irish Government's response to hate crime law

On November 6, the LGBT+ community and allies will kiss outside the Dáil as part of 'Shift the Hate Away', calling for immediate action on hate crime laws.

Shift the Hate Away Protest

Shift the Hate Away is set to be a crucial protest outside the Dáil as LGBT+ members and their allies call on the Irish Government to address much-needed hate crime legislation.

On November 6, the community will come together in Kildare Street to kiss as a declaration that action must be taken against homophobic violence. We The People Communications stated on Facebook, “If like us you’re horrified by the recent spate of violent crimes against members of the LGBTI+ community then join us in doing something about it. Next week we are joining a bunch of like-minded people to #ShiftTheHateAway in a hugely visible sign of defiance, strength and solidarity and to demand the Government introduces Hate Crime Legislation without delay.”

The Department for Justice and Equality launched phase one of a new consultation process in developing hate speech and hate crime legislation on October 24. However, hate crime legislation is still currently in the research phase with legislation expected next year. 

In the absence of hate crime legislation, Garda response time and reaction to reported homophobic attacks are severely lacking. It creates an environment where people are afraid to speak up and where anti-LGBT+ violence remains rampant in Ireland. On the ‘Shift the Hate Away’ event page, it highlights, “These crimes have a ripple effect across the whole LGBTI+ community.”

Over the past few weeks, there have been two separate occasions of homophobic motivated attacks. On one incident, the Garda were called afterwards but never arrived at the scene.

In a post-marriage referendum Ireland, the LGBT+ community still cannot feel safe in expressing themselves publicly. Following an attack on Danillo Matta outside his home, Senator Fintan Warfield renewed calls for action on adequate legislation, stating, “How many times do I have to come in here and talk about these attacks? How many more attacks must the LGBT community face? We have hate problems. He has the power to deal with it, rather than sit on his hands, and I want to see action.”

The ‘Shift the Hate Away’ protest is a way for the community to do what they do best, continue to love and be themselves. As the Irish Government continuously overlooks a large portion of Irish society in the creation of legislation, this protest will act as an important call for change and a sign of solidarity.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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