Over 100 people take part in No to Hate campaign vigil in Norwich

Over 100 people attended a vigil in Chapelfield Gardens in Norwich, as part of the national No to Hate campaign.

The Vigil, organised by Norwich Pride, coincided with ones held around the country on Saturday night.

It was the fourth time the campaign had held the vigil since being launched in 2009, following the homophobic murder of Ian Baynham in Trafalgar Square.

The Norwich vigil saw Chapelfield Gardens lit by over 120 hand-painted candle holders, with the Sing with Pride choir performing and a range of speakers from different community groups attending.

Abraham Eshetu, equality and diversity manager at Norfolk Constabulary and chair of Black History Month, said in his speech: 'Through my work in the diversity team, I have come to understand the impact and devastation that hate crime can have, not only on individuals but on families and the wider community.

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'Norfolk Constabulary makes this promise to you tonight: if you come and report hate crime to us we will take it seriously, we will support you, we will investigate it, and wherever possible we will take robust action to take the offenders through the criminal justice system.'

Organiser Michelle Savage, from Norwich Pride, said: 'The Vigil was incredibly moving. The choir sounded wonderful and the speeches were inspirational, but it was the two minute's silence that created the most special moments of all.

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'When the bells on the City Hall clock started to chime for 8pm, we knew that we were sharing a silence with thousands of people around the country.

'Ian Baynham's death in 2009 was a tragedy that we should never forget. If we want to stop senseless murders like this happening again, we have to say no to hate.'

Mike Stonard, the new chair of Norwich Pride, added: 'Norwich Pride wants Norwich to be a city where everyone can be safe and proud to be themselves.

'We want to live in a city where it doesn't matter who you are, how you define yourself, or whether you stand out as different in some way; a city where you can feel safe and be safe from hate crime.'

- Did you attend the vigil? Send us your photos and videos at www.iwitness24.co.uk

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