Manchester City Council is working to root out hate crime and ensure Manchester embraces a culture of acceptance.
Manchester has a proud tradition of inclusivity. It was a bastion of the LGBT movement in the 1980s, leading the way in championing people’s rights to live free from intolerance. And as an ever-expanding multicultural city, celebrations are held every year to honour the religions and traditions of the communities which make Manchester special.
In spite of the tremendous progress which has been made over the past three decades, there is work still to be done. Hate crime cannot be tackled by the police alone, which is why this year, all Mancunians are encouraged to pledge not to stand by, if someone is attacked simply for being who they are.
We say support anyone who is abused, challenge their abuser, if it is safe, and report any crime you witness.
Jamie Whittaker, 38, from Levenshulme is a born and bred Mancunian. Mr Whittaker was a victim of a recent homophobic assault in Manchester City Centre.
“I was making my way from Albert’s Schloss with some friends when some guy walked into me. I was walking ahead so it looked like I was alone, he walked in to me and said ‘move out of my way you dirty f****t.’
“As I was about to reply he punched me in the face and it turned into a little scuffle.”
Mr Whittaker was able to fight off the assailant using his laptop bag, also nearby door staff were able to intervene.
Although he has been targeted with verbal abuse before, Mr Whittaker said he has never experienced an assault of this nature in his life.
Councillor Nigel Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The strength of Manchester has always stemmed from its people and I have faith they will get behind our message of support, challenge and report, and rid our city of the scourge of hate crime.”
Councillor Bev Craig, lead member for LGBT Women, said: “As we have seen in the fight for LGBT equality, allies are crucial. Change does not come from one person or group but from all, and that is why I ask all Mancunians to throw their support behind this cause.”