NYC to offer self-defense training in reponse to rise in anti-gay hate crimes

NYC to offer self-defense training in reponse to rise in anti-gay hate crimes

JoeMyGod reports that the disturbing image above was seen scrawled on a poster in a subway station at West 72nd and Central Park West.  It reads “Queers beware – it’s faggot season.”

In light of the recent increase in anti-gay hate crimes, NYC will begin offering self-defense training to LGBT citizens. Note that you do have to call ahead to reserve space in a class.  The lessons will focus on street smarts more than actual fighting, Quinn said.

Via press release from the office of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn:

Following a string of hate crimes against LGBT New Yorkers, Speaker Christine C. Quinn and the City Council LGBT Caucus today announced they will host a series of free self-defense trainings across the City. The trainings will empower New Yorkers by teaching violence prevention strategies and safety tips to the LGBT community. The kick-off class, led by the Center for Anti-Violence Prevention, will be held on Saturday, June 8th in Room 101 of the LGBT Center at 4:00 PM. An additional evening class has been scheduled for Wednesday, June 12th at the Hudson Guild Elliot Center at 7:00 PM.

Participants should reserve their space by calling (212) 788-5613 or by e-mailing events@council.nyc.gov. “No one should be made to feel unsafe because who they are or who they love,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “The spate of bias attacks against LGBT New Yorkers in recent weeks is unacceptable and must end now. Our free self-defense classes will teach violence prevention strategies to New Yorkers and will provide the community with the tools they need to stay safe.”

Anti-gay hate crimes have doubled in New York City this year.

In addition to the self-defense training, the NYPD has increased foot patrols in the gay neighborhoods of the West Village, Hell’s Kitchen, and Chelsea. Mounted units have been assigned to Christopher Street on the weekends.

(via JMG)