Sydney may be getting some gay heroes. GenerationQ founder and hate crime survivor Andrew Stopps put a call out for well-trained queers to join a new “Street Angels” team. The team will dedicate itself to patrolling gay ghettos and deterring potentially attackers. Says Stopps:
We are looking for volunteers who are in the armed forces, police, security or have medical training to join the Street Angels.
Training will be provided to make sure the Street Angels have boundaries and guidelines and that’s where we will work with the police to make sure they are there to support.
We are not looking for vigilantes, but for trained people to help keep people safe… We are hoping that just by being visible at events and on the street, the Street Angels’ presence will make people think twice before attacking or acting in a threatening way.
The move comes after a rise in anti-gay violence in traditionally gay-friendly areas.
Though Stopps wants to work with coppers, a police spokesperson says they do not endorse the formation of “vigilante groups”. Mayor Clover Moore, meanwhile, “understands” Stopps intentions, but doesn’t necessarily endorse the group’s formation:
While I understand the community frustration motivating this latest proposal, I would be seriously concerned if it resulted in community members attempting to do the job of the police or taking the law into their own hands.
We can’t imagine what Bill O’Reilly would have to say about this one…