Two Brewers stabbing leaves London queer community reeling: ‘Our second home was attacked’

The Two Brewers in Clapham.

In Clapham, there’s a sense of trepidation and sadness as the local LGBTQ+ community comes to terms with an attack at one of their safe spaces, iconic bar The Two Brewers.

On Sunday evening (13 August), while a drag queen performed inside for locals, two men were stabbed in the smoking area. Their injuries weren’t life-threatening, but the incident has sent shockwaves through one of London’s queerest districts.

Giancarlo Galliani lives just 20 minutes from The Two Brewers, and he was among the crowd in the pub on Sunday night when the attack happened. Speaking to PinkNews, he says he’s still trying to process what happened.

“It’s hard because I’m at the Brewers on a Sunday all the time, and I think we all felt like our second home was attacked,” he said.

The Two Brewers isn’t just a regular bar, Giancarlo says – it’s a place where queer people have come together and built communities. That’s why it’s so hard for those who live in the area to come to terms with what’s happened.

“You kind of think in your head, this is something that used to happen in the past and we thought we’d moved above it, and here we are. I feel like I’m going backwards in time a bit.” 

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While Giancarlo hadn’t noticed an uptick in homophobic violence in the area before the attack, he says there has been an increase in crime more broadly.

“I’ve definitely seen reports of theft, of people being mugged – but not homophobic stuff. Not like that. That’s why initially when this happened I didn’t think it was going to be something that was targeted. I thought it was just a random crime,” Giancarlo continued.

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“The fact that it was [targeted] is just really scary. I’ve lived here for three years, and some of it was COVID so it was a bit different, but it does seem a bit less safe now.”

Going forward, Giancarlo will be more cautious walking home from the Brewers and other queer venues.

“You need to be on your guard until we understand who this person was … I wouldn’t want to be out there on my own.” 

Two Brewers attack has left Claphham’s LGBTQ+ community ‘on edge’

Steven Chinnery works in Fetch, a local adult store just a stone’s throw from The Two Brewers. He says locals are “on edge” since the attack.

“It’s highlighted how we still need to fight a bit more to feel safe in our community,” Steven, speaking in a personal capacity, tells PinkNews. 

The attack was a shock, but in some ways it wasn’t surprising, as far as Steven is concerned. He says things have been sliding back for some time – and not just in Clapham.

“I’ve got friends who live in Soho and they’ve been feeling the same – that it’s taking a back step in a way, where gangs and general crime seems to be on the increase.”

Steven doesn’t necessarily feel less safe going about his day-to-day business, but he is more aware of his surroundings.

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“It’s all good and well going out and dressing how you want, but the question always remains when you go home and you’re not in the group, you think, am I dressed too ‘out there’? Am I going to be targeted because of this?

“It’s going back to the playground. If you don’t fit in you’re going to be targeted,” Steven continued.

“The only difference between the playground and this is that you don’t know what people have in their pockets.”

A number of days have passed since the attack at The Two Brewers and the suspect remains at large. Police have released several CCTV images, the latest of which come from a route 50 bus, and have asked anyone with information to come forward.

The latest image of the suspect from the Metropolitan Police shows them on a bus on Sunday evening, shortly before two people were stabbed at The Two Brewers.
The latest image of the suspect from the Metropolitan Police shows them on a bus on Sunday evening, shortly before two people were stabbed at The Two Brewers. (Met Police)

Detective Chief Inspector Jivan Saivb said the latest images provide a clearer picture of the attacker.

“I would urge people to look at these images – do you know this man? Do you recognise the clothes he is wearing? If you can help identify him then please get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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