Justice for Steven Simpson – Vigil at NUS conference – 9 April

stevensThe NCAFC Liberation Campaigns are working with local LGBT and disability campaigners in Sheffield to organise this vigil for Steven Simpson, a Barnsley teenager murdered in a homophobic and ableist hate crime.

5.30-6.10pm, Tuesday 9 April
Barkers Pool, Sheffield S1 (outside NUS conference)

This event will take place in a break from NUS conference and we would ask delegates and visitors to come out, but it is not just for conference attendees, but open to any supporter who wants to attend.

This event will be a vigil, not a noisy demo. We ask that people bring placards and banners, listen to the speakers, and they we will move to a two minute silence in memory of those killed through anti-LGBT, anti-disabled and all hate crime.

If you would like to add your name or your group to the list of people backing this, please email Rosie Huzzard at [email protected]

Facebook event

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The is what happened to Steven Simpson (content warning: contains description of an ableist/homophobic killing):

“In the early hours of 23rd June 2012, Steven Simpson was set on fire by 20 year old Jordan Sheard who had gate-crashed his house party in Cudworth near Barnsley. He had been verbally abused, stripped of his clothes and had phrases like “I love dick” and “gay boy” scrawled across his body. He was then doused in tanning oil, Sheard lit his crotch with a cigarette lighter and the flames engulfed his body. Those involved fled as Simpson’s neighbour tried desperately to put out the flames. Simpson died the next day after enduring 60% burns to his body.

“Steven Simpson’s murder was the result of the hatred and humiliation caused to him because of his sexuality and his disability. He was bullied, de-humanised and then killed. It follows the format of many killings of LGBTQ people worldwide.

“Sheffield Crown Court’s view on the matter has been frankly disgusting. Judge Roger Keen dismissed the crime as a ‘good-natured horseplay’ that had gone too far, and sentenced him to a unusually short sentence of three and a half years in prison. Sheard’s defence lawyer called what happened to Simpson a ‘stupid prank that went wrong in a bad way’.” – Maxi B, from marxistqueen.wordpress.com

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Steven was an FE student in Barnsley, just near Sheffield, and the ruling was made in Sheffield Crown Court. Local LGBTQ and Disabled campaigners and allies are holding a vigil to raise awareness of this type of hate crime which is not taken seriously in this country.

* We demand justice for Steven and people like him.
* We demand an apology from the judge and a retraction of the description of this appalling attack as ‘good natured horseplay’

More info:
marxistqueen.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/steven-simpsons-death-should-not-be-dismissed
www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/23/steven-simpson-gay-teen-burned-birthday-_n_2939092.html

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