Hate crime vigils organiser brings Olympic torch to Soho

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The organiser of the 17-24-30 hate crime vigils paused with his Olympic torch in Soho yesterday to remember victims of anti-gay crimes after running in the official relay in south London.

Mark Healey told PinkNews.co.uk it had been an “amazing day” as part of the relay and that he had run in memory of the victims of hate crimes.

Subsequently, he made the journey into central London with the memento torch given to him by Olympic authorities to pause near the site of the Admiral Duncan bombing.

As the organiser of 17-24-30, Mr Healey was nominated to run with the torch as it made its way through south London yesterday morning ahed of the opening ceremony this Friday.

Mr Healey told PinkNews.co.uk when he had run in the relay he went with his torch to visit shops and businesses in Soho which have supported 17-24-30 over the years.

He said: “I thought that it was important to give as many people as possible an opportunity to see and have their photos taken with the torch – in fact I’m planning to get out and about this week and travel round some of the LGBT bars that have supported us – starting with Lady Emelda at Halfway to Heaven on Wednesday night.”

17-24-30 remembers the victims of the nail bomb attacks of 1999 in Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho and to unite against hate crime.

A moment with the torch was set aside for those whose lives were lost in the Admiral Duncan pub bombing and other victims of homophobic crimes.

Mr Healey said: “I also took a moment to stop at St Anne’s Gardens in Soho, to pay my respects to Nik Moore, Andrea Dykes, John Light and David Morley (fondly known as Sinders) as I was carrying the torch in their memory, along with Ian Baynham and other victims and those affected by hate crime.

“I hope that what I have done inspires others to get involved in making sure that we have a strong and vibrant community, and that we continue to stand by those who have been affected by hate crime. We can all make a difference.”

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