What is seldom mentioned by the mainstream media in its coverage is that family and friends of Sophie created the SOPHIE fund, "Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere", aiming to "provide an appropriate memorial; a lasting legacy to raise awareness of the injustice perpetrated against Sophie Lancaster and to work towards a more tolerant, less violent society." People have banded together aiming to inspire more tolerance for anyone dressed in any style and a string of events featuring goth, darkwave, metal, and punk music have been held to raise funds. Online the killing has brought the attention of those in the goth and alternative community worldwide. Comparisons have been made to the well known controversy surrounding the killing of Brian Deneke, a Texas punk, killed in a face off with jocks in 1997 which has often been called a hate crime and has inspired many tributes from punk bands over the years.
The media also have not mentioned that the killing has inspired an initiative through an online petition to the Prime Minister "to widen the definition of 'Hate Crime', to include crimes committed against a person or persons, on the basis of their appearance or subcultural interests". The petition is on the 10 Downing Street website and must be answered by an official response from the UK government. With almost 4000 signatures the petition is in the top fifty on the website and has the backing of local councillors and MEP/MPs and the SOPHIE Campaign. Supporters of the petition point to an ongoing wave of violence and abuse faced by those who dress in an alternative fashion across the country with significant incidents in the last year in Liverpool, Kent, Blackburn, Burnley, and Devon documented in the press and on the website Alterophobia. Meanwhile the popular Bizarre magazine has also launched a "Proud to be Different" campaign to fight against the prejudice which led to Sophie's death. With local councils supporting corporate moves to target gathering places of alternative youth in Leeds, Glasgow and Bristol it seems it is not just local thugs who hate anyone who wants to express their individuality.
Whether or not any law can help safeguard alternative people from attack the trial has certainly made people more aware of the abuse and prejudice you can face simply for choosing to dress in an alternative way to the mainstream. Anyone who knows or sees anyone dressed in any alternative fashion knows the hassle and dangers they must face and if the UK is truly going to learn to be a multicultural society people must b able to tolerate all kinds of differences whether of sexuality, ethnicity, religion or of subcultural style.
SOPHIE campaign: "Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred (and) Intolerance Everywhere".
UK Petition against subcultural hate crime:
"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Widen the definition of 'Hate Crime', to include crimes committed against a person or persons, on the basis of their appearance or subcultural interests." [You have to be British to sign.]
Woman died after drunken gang attacked couple dressed as goths
The Guardian, Thursday March 13 2008
Sophie Lancaster at Wikipedia
Alterophobia : - A blog about fear, prejudice and hatred towards members of alternative subcultures.
Youtube Video The Murder of Sophie Lancaster - The Trial Part 1
Youtube Video The Murder of Sophie Lancaster - The Trial Part 2
UK Indymedia - Save Leeds Corn-X From Food Emporium for the Rich
"As most people form Leeds know, the Corn Exchange plays a major part in the city's youth alternative culture and has done for decades."