The brutal beating of fatal consequences that the young man from Coruña Samuel Luiz received last Friday night has not gone unanswered on the street. The first police reports investigated the attack as a discussion related to the use of a mobile phone, but when one of the friends who accompanied Samuel at the time of the crime posted on Twitter that it was a homophobic attack, a strong wave of indignation shook social networks and has taken people to the streets in a hundred enclaves throughout Spain, more than 70 of them in Galicia, at eight in the afternoon.
In addition to #JusticeforSamuel Y #XustiziaparaSamuel, two hashtags that have served as the common thread of the call on Twitter, some of the entities that have called for the concentrations have done so with the slogan “Enough of LGTBphobia.” This crime has occurred in the week of LGTBI Pride and in a context of legislative advances that do not for this reason make hate crimes against this group go back. The registry of complaints processed by the prosecution for sexual orientation and gender identity has increased by 8.6% from 2018 to 2019, according to the latest data available from the Ministry of the Interior.
In A Coruña, where the attack took place, the city has gathered under a fine rain keeping silence in the town hall square to later break into applause. Samuel’s closest friends, who wore T-shirts with a drawing of his face, later thanked them excitedly for the support they received. The thunderous cry of “justice” echoed through a practically packed square. Among a sea of umbrellas, the only banners were the covers by his friends and friends, in memory of Samuel. Excited, the three friends who were with the young man on Saturday morning thanked, between tears, the health workers who attended him.
The investigation is in process and the Avante LGTB + collective, in a brief speech, assumed that it was a homophobic murder. Samuel’s father, through the spokesperson for the group, asked that it be the last violent death “for this reason” and called on the attackers to show their faces. A friend of the young man also demanded respect from the media for Samuel’s parents, who were “harshly harassed all day today.” “When they are ready to speak, they will,” he said.
In Madrid, thousands of people have filled the Puerta del Sol. Serious faces and in contrast to the carefree tourists, the protesters carried rainbow flags and, in some of them, black crepes. Two young people, Carmen and María, are outraged and do not understand why “these things happen in the 21st century.” Carmen explains that she herself has suffered various homophobic attacks for going hand in hand with her girlfriend: “they chased us and yelled, but nobody did anything.” The young women are clear about the need for this concentration, as María, Carmen’s sister explains, “if the people were in the Pride of celebration, today we must also come,” she says.
Some slogans have been heard among the crowd such as “He is not dead, they have assassinated him”, “You fascists are the terrorists” or “They killed Samuel for being a fag”. Some associations have distributed leaflets with the message “Homophobia and fascism are the same”. During the reading of the manifesto, their hands were raised in the form of a silent cry and it was said: “Samuel was killed for being a fagot.” People from the Marikas Madrid Movement have said: “Just because we exist we are questioned and attacked. But we have something even stronger than all that, anger.” “This is not about loving, this is about being,” they added. In addition, they have launched a call for mobilization: “We are going to do it our way, with our whole body, occupying the space and making it ours.” After the statement, the audience clapped loudly, shouting “Samu, brother, we don’t forget.” Spontaneously, part of the protesters have left the square to go to the Ministry of Justice, on their way through Gran Vía, they have carried out a sit-in, cutting off traffic.
Contractions have been structured throughout Spain: Barcelona, Valencia, Salamanca, Badajoz, Lanzarote, Bilbao, Valencia and Zaragoza. All in unison. In León, more than 200 people have gathered and a manifesto has been read in which it has been claimed that no aggression against the LGTBI group remains “unanswered.” In Valladolid, around a thousand people have gathered in the Plaza Mayor. After a minute of silence and several chants against homophobic crime, the Alternativa Universitaria and Fundación Triángulo associations have read a statement in which they have demanded an active and militant commitment from citizens and politicians to eradicate homophobia. “We have to act before every ‘fag’, ‘dumpling’ or ‘travelo’ in the schoolyard, because insults are the first stone that builds hatred,” said one of the spokespersons for Triángulo with her voice. Broken. The square has exploded in a loud applause and a unanimous chant: “They will not pass.”
As an expression of this rejection and visibility of these attacks, with the hashtag #SamuelSomosTodas, homophobic aggressions have been reported on Twitter that exemplify that not only do they occur very frequently but that they are a minority who end up in denunciation.
Samuel was first attacked with a punch at the door of a nightclub facing the seafront, in Riazor. Later, that person arrived accompanied by others who dealt him a series of blows and fled from there, leaving him badly injured on the ground. The doctors who treated him could not save his life. The friend who accompanies Samuel has related that the main aggressor insulted Samuel because of his sexual orientation while attacking him, he told him “Stop recording us if you don’t want me to kill you, fag”. Police has taken statements from 13 people.
With information from Africa Gelardo (Madrid), Paola Obelleiro (A Coruña) and Antonio Vega (León).