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Thousands Cram Liverpool Street for Vigil Against Anti-Gay Hate


Following a massive vigil held in London's Trafalgar Square on Friday night, thousands turned out on Sunday for another vigil in Liverpool in honor of James Parkes, a police trainee who was attacked by a gang of up to 20 youths after leaving a bar last week.

Parkes was discharged from the hospital on Friday and is recovering at home, the BBC reports.

Said Parkes' partner Tom Downey at the vigil: "We have been amazed at the amount of support and best wishes that Jay and our families have received. We are pleased to see people are as outraged by this attack as we are."

Watch some amazing scenes and speeches from the vigil and an interview with Downey (below), AFTER THE JUMP...


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UK Anti-Hate Vigils: Tonight in London, Sunday in Liverpool


Thousands are expected in Trafalgar Square in London tonight for a vigil against anti-LGBT hate crimes.

The BBC reports: "Homophobic attack victims Ian Baynham, who died earlier this month, and James Parkes, who was injured in Liverpool on Sunday, will be among those honoured. Speeches will be made before the two-minutes silence 2100 GMT. Organiser Mark Healey said: "If we forget about these victims we could become complacent and fail to learn from the past." Mr Baynham, 62, from Beckenham, south-east London, died from brain damage two weeks after being attacked in Trafalgar Square on 25 September. On Sunday night trainee police officer Mr Parkes, 22, was attacked by up to 20 people outside a gay bar in Liverpool's Stanley Street. He remains in hospital with multiple skull fractures. Last week Metropolitan Police figures showed that 1,192 homophobic offences were reported in London in the year to September, up from 1,008 the previous year - a rise of 18.3%."

A vigil is also scheduled for Sunday night at 8pm in Liverpool.

Vigil to be Held for Gay Liverpool Hate Crime Victim James Parkes

Twelve youths have been arrested so far in the anti-gay assault on 22-year-old police trainee James Parkes outside the Superstar Boudoir nightclub in Liverpool on Sunday:

BBC: Parkes "James Parkes, 22, was assaulted by up to 20 people outside Superstar Boudoir in Stanley Street on Sunday night. He suffered multiple skull fractures and is in a 'critical but stable' condition in hospital, police said. The boys, one aged 13, two aged 15 and two aged 16, were arrested overnight and bailed. Another boy, 15, was arrested earlier. Six others have been bailed. All 12 suspects, who are from Kirkdale, Anfield, Kensington, Fazakerley and Walton, were arrested on suspicion of assault. The 15-year-old is still being questioned by detectives."

Parkes' parents spoke out about the attack: "We want to thank the investigation team for all the work they are doing to catch the people involved in this vicious attack. We are really grateful for all the support that James has received since the attack, particularly from the gay community and the police. James has worked hard to serve the Merseyside community over the last two years as a Police Community Support Officer and is very excited to be at the start of his career as a police officer. We can't believe the ignorance of the young people who carried out the attack on someone who was just out on a night out with friends and had done nothing wrong. We are really keen that the young people involved in the attack are caught and bought to justice and would ask anyone who knows anything about the attack to contact the police."

A vigil is to be held at 8 pm on Sunday on Stanley Street where the attack took place. Hundreds are expected to attend.


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