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Rally against hate crime in Carroll Gardens

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Dozens of Carroll Gardens residents rallied against hate on Monday night at Luquer Street between Hamilton Avenue and Clinton Street, steps from the spot where a gay man was attacked two weeks earlier.

Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, Comptroller John Liu, Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) joined a few dozen candle-bearers — a crowd that impressed some residents, though it left some activists disappointed.

“It’s kind of surprising that there weren’t more people here,” said Brooklyn Heights resident Richard Murray as he held his boyfriend’s hand.

“It’s totally necessary to come here, right where the attack took place,” he said, gazing up at spectators who preferred to watch, anonymous, from their windows above. “The people of this block are all looking out of every window. They need to know that this stuff is not going to be tolerated.”

Like most pols, DeBlasio, who used to represent the district in the Council, spoke of a “call to action” against hate.

“Hate crimes like this are blatant attacks on New Yorkers’ core values,” he said.

Lander derided the attackers as “idiots who acted outside the consensus of the neighborho­od.”

The consensus of the neighborhood was certainly not on the minds of five thugs on March 2 when they attacked a 22-year-old Red Hook resident as he made his way past Luquer Street.

Anti-gay slurs were thrown as easily as punches when the man was beaten to the ground, left with bruises to his face and the back of his head.

The suspects remain at large.

A friend of the victim said he was too traumatized to attend the rally.

Yet in almost the same breath, the friend, Mike Miller, said the attack wasn’t going to stop him from walking the streets of Carroll Gardens anytime soon.

“I’m not afraid,” he said. “You can’t be afraid.”

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call (800) 577-TIPS. In response to the attack, the Brooklyn community Pride Center has put together an LGBT Community Safety Survey. To participate, go to https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&formkey=dFBxZFRValVVNTNrbTdUclpzTGNCMmc6MA.

Updated 5:59 pm, March 17, 2010
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Reasonable discourse

Bob Zuckerman from Carroll Gardens says:
I was at the rally last night with my partner as well, but I'm not sure Mr. Murray and I were at the same rally. I estimated well over 100 people - maybe closer to 200 people - who came out to support our unified stance against bias and hate. I saw lots of straight allies there from Carroll Gardens, other parts of Brooklyn and even Manhattan. Kudos to Councilman Lander and the other elected officials for organizing a great rally.
March 16, 2010, 8:12 am
Any mouse from Carroll Gardens says:
The reason the suspects are still at large is because they are probably local thugs. Many of the original locals are xenophobes - they are intolerant - they don't like kids of color going to school at 142, they don't like the Asian women's shelter, they don't like anyone who doesn't look like them. You should hold rallies in this community weekly. At least until you get the suspects out of the woodwork.
March 16, 2010, 11:13 am
Rich Murray from Brooklyn Heights says:
I was surprised that more people weren't at the event given the fact that there were so many elected representatives present or expected on the announcement. It's exciting to know we are supported by so many of our elected officials.

Yet, while the vigil was more well-attended than other events I've seen, with perhaps with a little more time, we could have had more of the local community involved.
March 18, 2010, 12:26 pm

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