News (USA)

NYC LGBT Caucus to offer self-defense classes in response to anti-gay attacks

NEW YORK — New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the council’s LGBT Caucus will host free self-defense classes following a recent spate of hate crimes.

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The first class will be led by the Center for Anti-Violence Prevention on June 8.

The center’s executive director, Tracy Hobson, says the community has suffered too long from bigotry and hate crimes — but is also resilient.

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer says the classes will empower men and women “who might otherwise feel helpless.”

The training will offer violence prevention strategies and safety tips.

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Hobson says the skills will help the community challenge, prevent and heal from all forms of violence.

The classes come in response to the rise in anti-gay attacks in the city. So far this year, there have been some 30 gay bias attacks in the New York City, more than double for the same period last year.

Among them, 32-year Mark Carson, a gay man who allegedly was taunted with homophobic slurs before being shot point blank in the face.

The attack on Carson was the most violent in a series of bias attacks that have stirred up anxiety, disbelief and outrage in the famously gay-friendly neighborhood of Greenwich Village.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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