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Protest against homophobic hate crime at the LSE

This protest is being called to hold the LSE to account for its inaction in the face of homophobic hate crimes on campus.

Over two months ago Sam (a pseudonym), a cleaner at the LSE who is outsrouced to Noonan, submitted a formal grievance stating that he had been the victim of homophobic bullying and which was so serious that it probably amounted to a hate crime. More specifically he was called “faggot”, told that he should sleep with a woman “to cure the problem”; that “gay people are not human”; and that “all gay people should be murdered, burnt alive and hanged”.

That last statement was responded to by the other people present by “jumping up and down in jubilation”.

He asked Richard Seddon, the account director at Noonan on the LSE's cleaning contract to “seriously investigate the situation before it gets completely out of control”, adding that he “feared for his safety.”

In light of Noonan's track record of implemetning extremely harsh disciplinary proceedings against cleaners, sometimes for the most trivial of things - such as 3 cleaners who were summarily suspended and eventually sacked by Noonan at the LSE last year for finishing their shift a little early - you would be forgiven for thinking that Richard would have immediately suspended the perpetrators of the reported homophobic bullying whilst he went on to investigate matters.

In actual fact, Richard took no action whatsoever against the perpetrators of the homophobic bullying and even responded dismissively by claiming that “it's in their culture.”

Sam became desperate in the face of Noonan's inaction and, ever fearful for his safety, asked the LSE cleaners union UVW to intervene.

UVW immediately wrote to Julia Black, and the directors of LSE facilities department. They refused to take any action either. In fact, all that happened was that nearly 2 weeks later (and 2 months since first reporting the homophobic bullying) Sam was invited to a grievance hearing. Still no action was taken.

Julia Black could have immediately requested Richard Seddon's removal from campus for not only expressing racist views, but also clearly discriminating against Sam because of his sexual orientation and potentially putting other cleaners, students and staff at risk of further homophobic bullying. Richard Seddon remains in his post in charge of all the cleaners at the LSE.

Noonan have accepted that they have done wrong and "let things slip", and yet neither Noonan nor Julia Black have taken any serious action. In fact, in a recent open student forum Julia Black was asked about this matter and refused to even pay lip service condemning homophobia at the LSE.

Sam is taking Noonan and the LSE to an employment tribunal on grounds of discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

In the meantime, we demand justice, responsibility and accountability.


NB

The Association of Chief Police Officers and the Crown Prosecution Service (“CPS”) have agreed a common definition of hate crime: "Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender."”

The CPS' Policy for Prosecuting Cases of Homophobic and Transphobic Hate Crime, which states that:
“We regard homophobic and transphobic crimes as particularly serious because they undermine people’s right to feel safe about and be safe in their sexual orientation, whether they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual, and in their gender identity, whether they are women or men and including trans men and women. Such crimes are based on prejudice, discrimination and hate and they do not have any place in an open and democratic society.”

Earlier Event: February 4
UVW General Meeting
Later Event: March 4
UVW General Meeting