Join The ‘March For Sophie’
As you will be aware, last year Lancashire girl Sophie Lancaster was savagely murdered by a gang of youths, purely down to the rock and goth clothing that she wore.
What you might not be aware of is that there is a movement working feverishly to ensure this kind of hideous crime becomes a much less frequent event. Alicia Thompson and David Knowles have organised a march in several different areas of the country that will take place on August 31st and Metal Hammer caught up with them to get the inside track on their cause.
Metal Hammer: What emotions did the Sophie Lancaster murder bring out in you?
Alicia Thompson: Well, I always knew that people affiliated with the sub-cultures were subject to quite a bit of prejudice and abuse but when I heard about Sophie Lancaster I was just in shock. I couldn’t believe that someone would actually kill a young girl because she chose to be a goth!
David Knowles: I’ve always been conflicted about hiding my gothic side from some people and this brought it into the light. On one hand, this could have been me, but on the other I think maybe people should make more effort to stay true to who they really are. It would force people to face difference in others.
MH: What made you feel like you had to do something?
Alicia: My initial thoughts were that something positive HAS to come out of this. Something is very wrong somewhere and its needs to change before we lose any more people. That’s when I decided to step up and do something I hoped no-one would ever forget in a hurry.
David: I wasn’t going to do a damn thing. I wasn’t apathetic, just resigned to the fact that I couldn’t really do anything. It was reading about Alicia and what she is doing that made me think I might have a chance to create real change.
MH: How did you plan a march in all of these different places?
Alicia: Actually, I didn’t! I only organised the one! I put the word out about our own march in Sheffield and people somehow felt inspired to do their own. A lot of people felt a bit gutted that they couldn’t get along to Sheffield due to distance so they asked if I minded that they set up a march in their home town. Naturally, I said ‘of course not!’
David: Luckily for me, Alicia had done the hard part and got the ball rolling. I contacted her when I’d read about the event in the Sheffield Star and so I’m just working on the finer points, now I have a plan to work from.
MH: What good can come of this march?
Alicia: So many people have asked me that and I really wish I knew the answer.
The main aim of the march is to stand together as one big happy family and present ourselves to the public and show them we’re not crazy Satan-lovers that secretly bathe in virgins blood on the weekend. We want to remember those who were lost to us and cry out for the hate to stop.
David: We’re making a lot of noise and that was always the point. If we’re succeeding before we’ve started, think of how much we’ll have accomplished when we’re done.
MH: How would you encourage people to take part?
Alicia: Well, I’ve been fortunate enough to have many people support what I’m doing and they are aiding me in encouraging people to join me on the march. The manager of the Corporation Night Club, Mark Hobson, has been fantastic in offering his services any time. Local alternative stores like Rocky Horrors have also joined in the help. Also, the Gothic Liberation Front have helped me spread the word and given me ideas and inspiration. But the important thing to remember is that ANYONE is invited, alternative or not.
David: Well we’re still working on this part. It’s easy enough to get people to come, people can see why this is important, the hard part is spreading the word.
The ‘March for Sophie’ will take place on August 31st. Please take the time to check out the campaign’s Facebook site and support this extremely worthy cause.