A man was hospitalised in one of a number of violent attacks in the Oxford St area over the Easter weekend.
The police and ACON’s Anti-Violence Project received several reports of violence against gay men.
One of the victims contacted the Star to say he and a friend had been seriously assaulted in Oxford St at about 3am on Sunday.
As we walked across Palmer St my friend put his arm around my shoulders, to demonstrate a point in the conversation, he said.
I heard a guy across the road say, -˜Look at those fucking poofters. Let’s teach them a fucking lesson.’
After trying unsuccessfully to drag the man into Palmer St, one of the abusers set upon his friend, punching and kicking him until a second man pulled him off.
He was out of control. I’ve never seen so much hatred. I have no doubt that this was a gay hate crime -“ anyone who saw it couldn’t have thought it was anything else.
Somali Cerise from the Anti-Violence Project said long weekends and weekends of special events were attracting people to Oxford St who might not be familiar with the area.
From our reports we can see that the perpetrators of violence around Oxford St in most cases are groups of young men targeting gay men, Cerise said.
People in Oxford St needed to be aware of their safety, particularly around gay and lesbian venues, Cerise said.
It’s important that the community remains alert to violence. If you see an incidence of violence occurring, try to help by calling the police and making noise.
However, we advise people not to get involved and place themselves in danger.
The Anti-Violence Project will work with police to develop policing strategies for the Oxford St area.