Police to investigate after pro-LGBT women attacked in Birmingham over school protests
By Barfi Culture Team
21st May 2019

West Midlands Police have been forced to investigate after a group of women were pelted with eggs and verbally abused last night in an area of Birmingham rocked by protests against LGBT classes.

The women were leaving messages of solidarity for staff at Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham.

They had put up heart-shaped messages that included: "No to Islamophobia, no to homophobia, no to biphobia, no to transphobia" and "Love unites us". But the message wasn't appreciated by everyone.

Tracy, 49, told the Birmingham Mail she felt "scared and intimidated" after a group of men gathered in the street and told them to get out of their community.

"It was awful. I was shaking. We had no intention of disturbing anyone - we were putting up the banners and messages we had made to show solidarity with staff. We wanted them to see something positive when they turned up for work, and to see they had our backing."

Amina Lone was among those who witnessed the attack.

The headteacher at the Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham has also received threatening emails and phone calls.

After criticism over inaction, West Midlands Police released a statement today saying: "West Midlands Police has been discharging our duty to maintain the public peace and where criminal offences are identified to act. In the last 24 hours, a number of criminal offences have taken place that the force will investigate and seek to bring people to justice."

Chief Constable Dave Thompson added: "We believe the strength of this city is in tolerant and diverse communities. This week I will march with LGBT staff and communities in Birmingham Pride and next week I will fast with Muslim colleagues and communities as they mark Ramadan. Both are possible to celebrate and respect in this amazing and diverse city. Sadly this is not the image of Birmingham that these events are projecting around the country and the world."

Shakeel Afsar, who doesn't have any children at the school, has been coordinating protests against the LGBT classes. He blamed the women for facing protests last night, saying their actions were provocative and they were being intimidating by putting up rainbow flags.

Tracy was from the Birmingham group SEEDS (Supporting Education of Equality and Diversity in Schools), a voluntary group that seeks to build bridges between schools and the parents who oppose equality teaching.

What are the protests about?

Some parents across Birmingham, primarily from Muslim families, are protesting against the teaching of LGBT acceptance in schools. They say it goes against their religion.

Others point out that LGBT classes are a requirement in schools, and the Equality Act makes it illegal for anyone to discriminate against others on the basis of faith or sexuality.

A recent Sky News report on the protests

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