Main | Monday, December 15, 2008

Hundreds Turn Out At Brooklyn Vigil For Jose Sucuzhanay, Murdered Victim Of Anti-Latino, Anti-Gay Hate Crime

Hundreds of New Yorkers turned out yesterday for the memorial vigil for Jose Sucuzhanay, the Ecuadorian immigrant who was beaten to death with an aluminum baseball bat last week because his attackers thought he and his brother were homosexuals. The event was covered by over a dozen television crews from local, national, and Hispanic news channels, as well as print reporters and radio teams from NYC and Spanish-language radio stations.

Among those that spoke to the crowd were NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, openly gay NY State Sen. Tom Duane, U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney Charles Hynes, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and leaders from a broad array of LGBT, Latino, and immigrant activist groups. The message underscored over and over again, in both English and Spanish, was that hate speech has consequences - and that the murder of Jose Sucuzhanay was the inevitable and tragic result of the nonstop villainization of LGBT and immigrant communities by the right wing of this country.

After rallying in a small park in central Bushwick, Brooklyn, a NYPD escort led the hundreds of protesters down the street to the scene of the attack. A $27,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of perpetrators. For full-screen versions of my photographs in the above slideshow, go here.

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