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The University of Southampton
Politics and International RelationsPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

No to hate crime vigil

On October 23 2010, the British Caught in the Act of Protest project team conducted a survey of the second annual No to Hate Crime Vigil at Trafalgar Square, organised by 17-24-30. The organisers use the numbers 17, 24 and 30 because these symbolise the dates of three nail bombings in London in September 2009. The black community were targeted in Brixton (17th Sept), the Bangladeshi community in Brick Lane (24th Sept) and gay communities at the Admiral Duncan pub in Soho (30th Sept). The vigil aimed to bring people together, to build relationships between communities, to support those who have been attacked and to challenge all forms of hate crime. On the day, around 2,000 people, mostly from the LGBT community, attended the vigil.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students from PAIR at Southampton helped by asking face to face interviews and handing out surveys. Unlike other demonstrations we have surveyed, which are usually noisy and involve marching from A to B, this was a very emotive and reflective static vigil. It presented special challenges for the survey process: Our student helpers had to be careful to ask interviews only during breaks in the speeches, and we all respected the two-minute silence.

For the first time, we welcomed our ESRC-funded post-doctoral fellow, Dr Cristiana Olcese, who has begun conducting complementary research on art-activists. Students from Winchester School of Art helped to collect portraits for Dr Olcese’s research.

Over the next year, we plan to survey another 4-6 protests on a range of issues. These will be analysed in cross-national and cross-issue perspective as part of the European Caught in the Act of Protest project.

Student participation is highly valuable for the project and for participating students. We offer free travel, a £6 lunch allowance and 5 graduate passport points to those who want to help. Students also gain invaluable research skills.

For details of future research opportunities at the University of Southampton, please contact Dr Clare Saunders at

Audio podcast and student views:

To listen to a podcast introduced by Dr Clare Saunders, Lecturer in Politics & International Relations, and hear the views of participating students, please click on the audio player.



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