Concern for the wellbeing of victims of homophobic violence in Surry Hills on the SSO online forums has spilled over into a community vigil.

Organiser Ben Veenkamp is putting together the vigil for Australia Day. It will be held from 4pm, 26 January at Harmony Park, next to the Surry Hills Police Station.

I chose Australia Day because we are all Australians, and we should have the same rights as every other resident in Australia, Veenkamp said.

Four o’clock isn’t so late that people will be afraid, but if they choose to go out afterwards it will be fresh in their minds and they’ll talking about this issue and their safety.

The vigil has unified the community, with hundreds already pledging their support. A police officer is among those who has volunteered to place vigil promotional posters around his local neighbourhood.

Local politicians, including Sydney Lord Mayor and MP Clover Moore, Sydney MP Tanya Plibersek and Wentworth MP Malcolm Turnbull have been invited to address the vigil. It is believed a senior police officer will be sent in place of Police Minister David Campbell.

Entertainment will be provided by community music groups.

The vigil starts at 4pm, Harmony Park, near Surry Hills Police Station on 26 January. Details: [email protected]

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