Today marks the seventeenth anniversary since the horrific nail bombing of the Admiral Duncan pub in Soho, London, which killed three people and injured eighty.
In a vicious ambush intended to maim and kill gay people, David Copeland detonated the bomb at 6:37pm at the packed pub in Old Compton St, the heart of London’s gay community. It caused absolute carnage and panic on the street. Copeland gave no warning of the premeditated strike at the start of a busy bank holiday weekend.
Soho had always been seen as a safe haven, a place to socialise without fear of homophobic attacks. The explosion inevitably changed all of this and highlighted the prejudice ingrained in society that many had forgotten existed.
Copeland, a former BNP member and neo-Nazi, was so fueled by hate for the asian and gay community that he intended his attacks to start a race war.
Now, annually, some of the family and friends of those affected by the bombings, including survivors, gather on the 30th April at 6pm outside the Admiral Duncan. At 6.20pm they walk the short distance to St Anne’s churchyard for an act of remembrance.
There is a memorial and a plaque in the Admiral Duncan to commemorate those injured and killed.
Through strength, courage and determination the lesbian and gay communities have moved forward in recent years, always remembering those that have suffered for the freedom and acceptance that we strive towards today.
” Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. Infact, it is the only thing that ever has.”- Mae West