People will convene on the streets of Chester on Saturday, August 5 to raise awareness of hate crime.
The peaceful walk through the city has been arranged to mark the 10 year anniversary of the murder of Sophie Lancaster, who was attacked in Bacup, Lancashire, for being a goth.
Many of the people taking part in the event are supporters of The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, which was established following her death in August 2007.
Its goals include education about social differences and campaigning for lifestyle and dress code to be added to reportable hate crime strands. The UK law currently recognises religion, race, homophobia, disability and gender as hate crimes.
The event has been organised by local author Emma Hibbs and Courtney Dean of the popular alternative shop Lee Louise, both long-time supporters of The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. Emma also developed and co-authored the award-winning non-profit anthology Dare to Shine for the charity last year.
“Being able to express oneself is a basic right, and any targeting because of that is a hate crime,” she stated in the anthology.
“Everyone can – and should – be who they are inside, show their individuality for all the world to see, without fear or need for justification. We are all in the same boat, living our lives as we want, under the most diverse, crazy, mismatched flag you can imagine. And that is really something to celebrate.”
The walk will begin at noon and follow a route past the Cathedral, down Foregate Street and on to the Ring Road, before concluding at Town Hall Square.
In the evening, the Lock Keeper pub will also be hosting a rock night, featuring live bands, a DJ set by Radio Deeside’s Nick Gregory, including songs dedicated to Sophie Lancaster’s memory, and a show by the Liverpool-based group Alternative Fashion Fest.