Murder of MP Jo Cox falls under Terrorism Act 2000 where a firearm is used for an ideological or political cause
England, United Kingdom — Far-Right extremist, Thomas Mair, was found guilty of murdering MP Jo Cox
The 53-year-old shot and stabbed to death the mother-of-two in Birstall, West Yorkshire, on 16 June, a week before the EU referendum vote.
Mair shouted “Britain First” in the attack, but the judge said the true “patriot” was Mrs Cox, not Mair.
Prosecutors said Mair was motivated by hate and his crimes were “nothing less than acts of terrorism”.
Mair was also found guilty of having a firearm with intent, causing grievous bodily harm with intent to 78-year-old Bernard Kenny, who tried to help the MP, and having an offensive weapon, namely a dagger.
The Crown Prosecution Service said in a statement: “Mair has offered no explanation for his actions but the prosecution was able to demonstrate that, motivated by hate, his pre-meditated crimes were nothing less than acts of terrorism designed to advance his twisted ideology.”
The CPS said it worked closely with police to build a strong case, and commended a number of “brave” eye witnesses who gave evidence.
After learning of her death, hundreds attended events in Washington DC, Dublin, Brussels, Oslo, Buenos Aires, Auckland and Beirut.
Horror: Colorado woman had her car vandalised and swastika signs spray-painted on it.
Denver, Colorado — A transgender woman woke up to find her car vandalised with hate speech, a swastika as well as pro-Donald Trump message on Wednesday morning.
Amber Timmons posted photos of the hate speech spray-painted on her car Wednesday morning to Facebook, but has since been removed by Facebook without reason.
Her car has been brutally vandalised and spray painted all over with homophobic and transphobic slurs and pro-Donald Trump messages
The Denver Channel reports that there have been a slew of instances of vandalism involving hate speech across the country over the past week since the presidential elections. Swastikas and other forms of hate speech have been spray painted at schools and businesses across the country as thousands of others protest the election of Donald Trump.
By 11 a.m., Timmons posted that a police report had been taken and that her friends had come over and were cleaning the paint off – apparently with quite successfully, according to pictures she posted.
Timmons said police came out and took pictures, along with the report.
She said that Police interviewed the neighbours but nobody saw or heard anything.
Timmons also shared that she went back inside her home, and walked back out to find encouraging sticky notes reading, “You are loved,” and “I am deeply sorry…love and peace wins always!”
In an interview with Denver7, she said she assumes it was someone who knew her or at least about her. She added that she thinks the perpetrator might be someone emboldened by Trump’s election.
“Considering that it had ‘Trump’ all over my front hood, I think it’s directly related,” she said.
“Am I scared? Definitely,” Timmons added. “But if I have to change my lifestyle, it means hate wins, and hate doesn’t win. Love wins.”
Cookeville, Tennessee — A transgender woman’s pick-up truck was spray painted with the words “Trump” and lit on fire in her driveway while she and her 3-year-old son were inside their home last Saturday.
The victim of this horrendous hate crime said she heard a noise outside her home at about 3:30 a.m. She went out and saw the door to her pickup truck open.
“I thought I’d forgotten to lock or close the door.” She said, as she went back inside.
About 30 minutes later, she said she heard a horn honk and looked outside to see her truck engulfed in flames.
The victim is a disabled US-Army veteran. She served for over eight years, until she was medically retired in 2007. She suffered a severe brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder while on tour in Iraq in 2004.
While she said she hasn’t experienced any discrimination in Cookeville since she came out two years ago, traveling outside of the city has proven dangerous.
“I’ve been in altercations out of town because I’m transgender.” She said.
While she has no Hillary Clinton signs on her front garden or in her windows, she said she is active on social media against Donald Trump. She said a Trump presidency would harm the LGBTQ community.
She added: “My kid is still frightened. I’m just trying to live my life, I wouldn’t hurt anyone.”
She was found hanged from a tree near a leisure centre on Wednesday morning, six days after her Facebook complaint.
Wiltshire, United Kingdom — A transgender senior pupil was found hanged from a tree by dog walkers, a week after she filled a formal complaint in her University for bullying and harassment.
She posted on social media, just days before she hanged herself:
“Getting frustrated about my voice again, it’s the first thing people judge me by and instantly marks me as trans and the most common reason my gender is questioned.”
So isolating and nothing I can do to change it. I feel hopeless and angry about it, I’m instantly judged and there is nothing I can do to make people see further.”
“I am starting to believe the insults…I am tired and I can’t see a happy ever after. There is a lot going on. I got more abuse wednesday and I am having issues because of it. I will be in Tuesday and I’ll explain then.”
Wiltshire College principal, Amanda Burnside, confirmed Gabriel had had made an official complaint about bullying, but had been clear that only one person had been involved.
The college was investigating the complaint and had emailed Gabriel with an update on Thursday, unaware of what had happened, Ms Burnside said.
Her death marks the second victim of transphobia in the United Kingdom this year.
Earlier in February, a transgender man from Manchester, England, was stabbed multiple times in his flat. Lee Arnold (36) has been arrested in connection with the attack and pleaded guilty to the murder.
Kansas, United States — The “Equality House”, owned by Aaron Jackson, Founder of nonprofit organization Planting Peace, has been vandalised.
“This happened last night. A sad reminder of how far we have to go. 2 days ago someone shouted “faggot” at me as they drove by. That happens almost every week. Every morning I look out my window to hate speech from the Westboro Baptist Church.” Davis Hammet, from Planting Peace, said.
“Queer folks are bullied, terrorized, assaulted, and murdered all across the United States. Our country continues to deny basic employment and housing protections to LGBTQ folks. Our politicians continue to use the LGBTQ community as a scapegoat and spew dangerous rhetoric that emboldens the hateful fringes of our society. We went from over 3 years without being vandalized to being vandalized twice in a few months.”
“This is an average experience for those marginalized in our society. Many will have much worse happen to them today. Please recognize that we still have so far to go. Please use your power to advocate for a better society for everyone.”
This happened last night. A sad reminder of how far we have to go. 2 days ago someone shouted “faggot” at me as they…
“They must have brought a ladder because it’s quite high,” he said. “They’d have needed to get up there to cut the ropes and wheel it down. It’s not an accident, they haven’t blown away; it’s been done deliberately.”
London, United Kingdom — St. Mary With All Souls church in Kilburn is a progressive, accepting, LGBT-Friendly church. The church began flying the pride flag in the early days of march 2015, and one year later, they added the transgender pride flag, too.
Earlier this month, however, Vicar Father Andrew Foreshew-Cain discovered that the flags had been stolen.
But far from feeling intimidated or worried, Father Andrew was angry about it, and vowed to continue fighting discrimination.
In an interview, he said: “How dare they try and silence who we are and what we believe and think that’s an acceptable response,” he commented. “Engage in debate all you like, tell me I’m wrong to my face all you like, but don’t vandalize my church.”
Foreshew-Cain says that people’s reaction to putting the flags in the church has been enormously positive, with people taking photographs and tweeting very positive comments about it.
“That’s what’s made this case of vandalism so surprising and troubling.” he said.
“It’s an attempt to bully and silence,” he explained.
Foreshew-Cain plans to go ahead with the first London meeting of Open Table, a new worship service “for queer Christians, led by queer Christians.” The initiative began in Liverpool and has since spread throughout the UK, Buzzfeed Reports.
“My personal motto is ‘No surrender’,” he said. “Gay and lesbian people are not going away in the church. You can cut our flags down, you can refuse to licence us as priests, you can refuse to ordain us as clergy, but we’re already in the church. Get over it. We’re not going anywhere.”
Americans are still divided on transgender rights and identity.
A new study, carried out by Pew Research Centre, revealed that almost half of respondents said transgender people should be required to use the restroom of the gender assigned to them at birth, with only 51 per cent of respondents supporting transgender people’s choice.
These polls reveal just how unsettled these issues are in American culture. Earlier this year, for example, the state of North Carolina passed a discriminatory, statewide piece of legislation, despite opposition from the Department Of Justice. This legal change effectively bans transgender people from using the bathroom matching their gender identity.
It seems that, for many Americans, the separation of gender from sex is still a relatively new concept.
The Pew Survey revealed that less than 30 per cent of respondents said that they knew somebody personally who identified as transgender, in contrast to 87 per cent who said they knew somebody who was gay, bisexual or lesbian.
Because being transgender is about identity and not sexuality, many people outside the LGBT community are confused as to what being transgender actually means.
Many transgender people are also gay, lesbian or bisexual, and also part of the LGBT umbrella. However, being transgender is about someone’s gender not being in alignment with the one assigned to them at birth. As an example: It is entirely possible for a transgender person to be transgender and not be interested in sexuality at all.
The good news is, there seems to be a growing trend of acceptance amongst the general population. If we take into account data from two years ago, where 80 per cent of the population considered that transgender people should stick to the bathrooms corresponding with the gender they were assigned at birth, it’s reasonable to confirm that transgender acceptance has grown by 29 per cent in these last two years.