STOP Hate Crime & Speech campaign kick-off in Innsbruck

Last Saturday the campaign STOP Hate Crime & Speech got kicked off in Innsbruck. The whole thing was started by Verein Vielfalt and is a part of the No Hate Speech Movement by the Council of Europe.

They offer a contact point for LGBTQIA+ people who have fallen victim to hate speech and/or crimes. You can report incidents anonymously online and don’t have to be scared of getting outed inadvertently. You can also gather information on what to do, how to react in a potentially dangerous situation, etc. on the website. The initative wants to sensitise the public to crimes against us, show solidarity with victims and gather statistics, since hate crimes against LGBTQIA+ aren’t gathered by the police and a lot of people don’t even report it. (Unfortunately, as of now the website is only available in German.)

The opening happened in Hotel Europa close to the train station. Among the speakers were: Josef Hosp from Gay Cops Austria who presented the results of a study about hate crimes against LGBTQIA+, Drag Queen Rachel Estrella Cloud who is ambassador for the campaign issued a statement, Sven Alexander Hofer from Verein Vielfalt explained the background, goals and methods of the campaign and Thomas Lechleitner from Grüne Andersrum issued a short statement as well. There were also videos from Bundesrat Mario Lindner and Ulrike Lunacek (vice president of the European Parliament).

One thing that was mentioned, apart from the campaign, was the low number of people that actually showed up. It’s a pity that so few of us made their way to Innsbruck. Maybe the Eurovision Song Contest finale later that evening had something to do with that. 😉

After a break presidential candidate Irmgard Griss spoke as well. To be quite honest I wasn’t too sure if she’s supporting the campaign or if she’s advertising for herself. With regards to content, she spoke about why people are unsatisfied, what people want from politics and that hate doesn’t get us anywhere. The campaign wasn’t mentioned and the few times she mentioned something related, she spoke about “homosexuals”, “gays” and “gay marriage”. All other groups weren’t mentioned once, something that was later criticised during the Q&A session. Griss’ talk showed that it’s not enough for straight people- and especially politicians- to support same sex marriage and pat yourself on the back, especially if you shift all responsibility to NGOs and expect us to convince politicians to graciously grant us the same rights that straight people enjoy.

But all in all it was a neat afternoon with fascinating information (you can read the study online if you want to, it’s only in German though) and I personally met a few nice people. (Since I’m pretty new to this kind of political activism. 😉 )

Now we need to spread the word about this initative. So please, share the link on your social media and let your queer friends know that they can take action when they’re attacked.
If you are able to and want to- the campaign is solely financed with donations and they’d be happy about everything you can give.

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