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Remembrance & Resilience 22 Years on in Soho

03/05/2021

LGBTQ People came together with representatives of the African-Caribbean and Asian communities on Friday 30th April to remember the twenty second anniversary of the nail bombings perpetrated by Neo-Nazi Hitler lover David Copeland in 1999. Three bombs aimed at marketplaces and institutions used by various minority communites injured dozens during April of that year. The third bomb before Copeland's arrest was at the Admiral Duncan, a popular LGBTQ public house on Old Compton Street in the heart of gay Soho. Three people and an unborn child were murdered by Copeland, and dozens injured. In the intervening years, there have alas, been more homophobic attacks. One man who survived the Nazi bombings was five years later murdered by a braying mob of teenage heterosexual thugs. Some theories have persisted, with observers of British intelligence agencies alleging that MI5 had knowledge of Copeland's extremist sympathies beforehand and could have picked him up much earlier. These reports were explored in detail during the noughties in the underground newspaper “Notes from the Borderland” - back copies of which can still be found in some independent and radical bookstores. Be that as it may, the good news is that Copeland was prosecuted and is now serving six consecutive life sentences at the secure psychiatric hospital Broadmoor. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales visited Old Compton Street some days after the bombing – a royal first, to our knowledge, and one which “Boyz” magazine at the time referred to as a “ Princely Gesture”. You can read a full history of that summer of carnage but also defiance at Pink News website. https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2021/04/30/admiral-duncan-pub-soho-bombing/.

 

Remembrance
LGBTQ History
Anti-gay hate
Resistance

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