In April 1999 the London communities of Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho were targeted by a series of nail bomb attacks over fourteen days.
The first nail bomb was targeted towards the Black community of Brixton on Saturday the 17th April, it exploded at the side of the Iceland Store in Brixton, on Electric Avenue.
The second nail bomb was targeted towards the Asian community of Brick Lane on Saturday the 24th April, it exploded in the boot of a car outside the Sweet and Spicy Restaurant, 40 Brick Lane.
The third and final nail bomb was targeted towards the Gay Community of Soho on Friday 30th April, it exploded in the Admiral Duncan bar, on Old Compton Street.
In March 2009 Mark Healey set up a Facebook group called 17-24-30 to mark the 10th anniversaries of the London Nail Bomb attacks in response to an article he read that suggested the anniversaries cause pain and suffering, the communities affected by these attacks no longer care and these anniversaries should be played down.
He believed that 'we' (the communities affected by these attacks) have a collective duty to work together to organise these Acts of Remembrance as long as there are people who wish to gather, to stand in solidarity with those affected by these attacks as long as they need us, and to educate people about these attacks to prevent them happening again.
Mark wanted to create a space online where those affected by these attacks (survivors, their friends, colleagues and families, and members of the Black , Asian and Gay communities) could connect and stay in touch with each other - in the space of a month over 2,000 people joined the Facebook group.
Following the support shown through the Facebook group, Mark approached the people who were stepping down from organising the Soho Acts of Remembrance, offering to organise them going forward. He also reached out to the Black and Asian communities of Brixton and Brick Lane to rekindle their local Acts of Remembrance.
Since April 2010, the anti-hate crime charity 17-24-30 NationalHCAW has organised the April Acts of Remembrance; to remember those we lost, stand with those affected by these attacks and educate future generations to eliminate all forms of hate.
Each year Mark liaises with the local authorities (police and councils), key partners and local communities affected by these attacks to organise the April Acts of Remembrance.
In Brixton (17th April) and Brick Lane (24th April) we organise small gatherings at 6pm at the side of the Iceland Store, and 40 Brick Lane.
We have created a tradition of lighting three candles that represent the three people killed in Soho, and the three communities of Lambeth, Tower Hamlets and Westminster. Volunteers talk to passers-by about what happened whilst handing out hate crime leaflets to encourage hate crime reporting. We listen to people, enabling opportunities for people to express their feelings and be signposted to organisations that can provide further advice and support.
In Soho, there is a much larger Act of Remembrance on the 30th April that begins at 5pm with people gathering at the Admiral Duncan. At 6.10 pm there is a procession along Old Compton Street, around the corner to St Anne's Gardens on Wardour Street.
In St Anne's Gardens, people surround the triangular bench in the far left side of the gardens. There are speeches, poems, choir pieces and moments of silence as survivors, friends, family, colleagues and members of the community stand together to remember Andrea, John and Nick, David (Cinders) and Thomas.
These events are open to anyone who would like to join us - although we do ask people to register so that we can get an idea of how many people wish to attend.
17-24-30 and the April Acts of Remembrance
April Acts of Remembrance
Join us in person for the anniversary of the Brixton Nail Bomb on the 17th of April.
Join us in person for the anniversary of the Brick Lane Bomb on the 24th of April.
Join us in person for the anniversary of the Soho Nail Bomb on the 30th of April.
The first of three nail bombs were targeted against the Black community of Brixton.. It exploded in Brixton Market injuring 48 people.
The second nail bomb was targeted at the Bengali community of Brick Lane. It exploded injuring 13 people.
The third bomb explored in the Admiral Duncan killing three people and injuring 79 people.
Andrea Dykes and her unborn child were killed in the Admiral Duncan.
John Light was killed in the Admiral Duncan.
Nick Moore was killed in the Admiral Duncan.
Saturday 1st May 1999 (OUTRAGE) Lambeth UNISON, backed by the Anti-Nazi League, the National Assembly Against Racism, The National Black Alliance and the Movement for Justice joined a number of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Community groups including Outrage! Stonewall and the London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard.
Prince Charles visited the Admiral Duncan on the 3rd May 1999 (c) Getty Image by Peter Jordan
Tuesday 4th May, the members of the London Gay Men’s Chorus gathered up the bouquets of flowers and massages outside the Admiral Duncan, and in a procession watched by people lining the streets, walked them several hundred yards to Soho Square.
Tuesday 4th May 1999 – Soho Square, after the bomb on Old Compton Street. Flowers placed outside The Admiral Duncan were moved to Soho Square.
7th May 1999 Speakers include Peter Tatchell, and pictured above Ken Livingstone MP, Darryl Telles Lesbian & Gay Coalition against Racism, Tess Joseph Jewish Gay & Lesbian Group, Stephen Kristian Outrage!, Teresa Bennett Anti-Nazi League, Tom Robinson singing “Glad to be Gay” (with updated lyrics), Sue Sanders Schools Out and Sukwant Dhaliwal Southall Black Sisters.
The Admiral Duncan re-opened on Friday 2nd July 1999 at 18:37 exactly nine weeks after the nail bomb attack on the 30th of April 1999.
David Morley survived the Admiral Duncan Nail bomb attack 30th April 1999.
30 Oct 2004 David and his friend attacked on the South Bank - he died later the same day.
Five years later, 30th Oct 2009 David was remembered during the first London Vigil Against Hate Crime for Ian Baynham.
5 Nov 2004 a candle-lit vigil was held in St Anne's Gardens, attended by over a thousand people.
Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London unveiled a triangular oak bench designed by Simon Kidd in St Anne's Gardens, Wardour Street.
The bench has come to symbolise the three communities of Lambeth, Tower Hamlets and Westminster united against hate crime.
In the corner of St Anne's Gardens are three cherry trees which were planted in memory of Andrea Dykes, John Light, and Nik Moore.
GOODNESS IS STRONGER THAN EVIL
The original Soho plaque went missing in 2013, 17-24-30 NationalHCAW liaised with Westminster Council to replace it.
8th November 2000, a plaque was installed on the wall of the Iceland Store, using funds raised by the Brixton Bomb Appeal Committee.
A plaque was finally installed on the 24th of April 2019, marking the 20th anniversary of the Brick Lane Nail Bombing
The original plaque went missing in 2013, this a photo of the replacement plaque which was installed in the same year.
17-24-30 launched as a Facebook group a month before the 10th anniversaries.
10th anniversary of the Brixton Nail Bomb was marked with a protest. 17th April 2009
10th anniversary of the Admiral Duncan Nail Bomb. 30th April 2009
25 September 2009, Ian Baynham was homophobically abused, punched and kicked whilst unconscious on the ground. He was left in a coma and later died of the injuries he stsustained.
30th October 2009 over 10,000 people attended the first London Vigil against Hate Crime organised by 17-24-30 for Ian Baynham.
The 5th anniversary of losing David Morely.
The 17-24-30 Facebook group began to evolve into an organisations known as the 17-24-30 No To Hate Crime Campaign. We organised the London Vigils between 2009 to 2012 before they evolved in 2012 into National Hate Crime Awareness Week #NationalHCAW
Mayor of Lambeth, Cllr Christopher Wellbelove joined us in Brixton.
We gathered in Altab Ali Park, named after a local victim of racist hate crime.
In April 2010 we started the tradition of lighting three lanterns at each of the gatherings.
Anniversary was not observed in Brick Lane due to trip to Tokyo with Olympic Torch.
We ask all the businesses on Old Compton Street to show their support for the April Acts of Remembrance by displaying Rainbow flags in their windows throughout April (as requested by the Moore family in tribute to Nick Moore who was killed in the Soho bombing along with his friends Andrea Dykes and John Light).
We also remember David Morley (Cinders) who survived the bombing but was killed five years later on the South Bank (30th October 2004) by a group of youths in a so-called "happy slapping" incident, and Thomas Douglas who passed away in 2017.
NB: Every year we get several media requests for survivors to talk about these events. Our policy is that we do not contact survivors unless they have given us explicit consent for us to contact them. We share any media requests via our monthly newsletter and social media profiles so that survivors, friends, and family can respond directly to any requests.
We produce a regular newsletter to keep people informed about these events and our work tackling hate crime across the UK.
We invite you to sign up here;
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