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Woman verbally abuses Pride marcher in suspected hate crime in London: ‘You despicable people. Shame on you’

Police appeal for witnesses to woman shouting ‘God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Sunday 28 July 2019 19:39 BST
'Shame on you!' Woman verbally abuses Pride marcher in suspected hate crime in London

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a Pride marcher was verbally abused by a woman in a suspected hate crime in London.

Footage of the incident during the Waltham Forest Pride event showed a woman shouting at another woman draped in a rainbow LGBT+ flag.

“Shame on you,” she could be heard shouting. “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”

The story of Adam and Eve features in both Christian and Islamic faiths.

As the Pride march passed down the other side of the road, the woman wearing clothing commonly associated with female followers of Islam, repeatedly shouted: “Shame on you, shame on all of you. You despicable people, you shameless people.”

A steward intervened to separate the abuser from the victim, who responded by calling out: “We still love you, you will not shame me.”

Stella Creasy, the Labour MP for Walthamstow, said she was “gutted” to see the footage from her constituency.

“Such hatred isn’t acceptable anywhere let alone in our home town,” she wrote on Twitter.

“Proud that many from all faiths and none today including Islam joined the Waltham Forest Pride march to show Walthamstow really does mean welcome.”

The Metropolitan Police said they were making enquiries into the incident and appealed for witnesses to come forward.

“We are aware of footage circulating on social media of abuse directed at those taking part in the Waltham Forest Pride event and enquiries are taking place,” a spokesperson added.

“Abusing someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is a hate crime and we would encourage victims and those who were there when this took place to come forward.

“If you have been verbally or physically abused, harassed or attacked in any way by someone because you are or they think you are LGBT+ please report these crimes to the police.”

The incident took place in Hoe Street, Walthamstow, on Saturday. The suspect was dressed in black, with a black veil and black-rimmed glasses. She was wearing light sandals and carrying a pair of white earphones.

The incident happened in Walthamstow on 27 July (Twitter/Yusuf Patel)

Yusuf Patel, who shared footage of the incident on social media, said he was “extremely disheartened to see such intolerance in my local area”.

“We know there are growing hate incidents of antisemitism, anti-Muslim hatred and LGBT+ hate,” he told The Independent.

“This incident in Waltham Forest only exemplifies the need for us and the authorities to double our efforts in challenging all forms of hatred and support brilliant organisations like Community Security Trust, Galop, Stonewall and TellMama, to continue their invaluable work.”

It came amid mounting concern about hate crimes against the LGBT+ community, following a violent attack on a lesbian couple on a London bus and protests by mainly Muslim campaigners against sex and relationship education in primary schools.

In a separate appeal launched on Friday, British Transport Police are searching for a group of white men who told a male couple “gays should be strung up” on a train and then punched one of the victims in the head.

The unprovoked attack happened on 14 April and left the victim unconscious at Upminster station.

In 2017-18, recorded hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation rose by 27 per cent to 11,638 offences in England and Wales, while offences against transgender people rose by a third to 1,651.

Religiously-motivated hate crimes – mostly directed at Muslims – rose by 40 per cent to 8,336 and racist incidents by 14 per cent to more than 71,000. Disability hate crimes rose by 30 per cent to 7,226.

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