City Council Offers Free Self-Defense Classes Following Hate Crimes

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    Thousands marched in Manhattan in mid-May to protest violence against the gay community.

    City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the council's LGBT Caucus have announced they will host free self-defense classes following the recent spate of hate crimes directed at members of New York City's gay community.

    "No one should be made to feel unsafe because who they are or who they love,” said Speaker Christine Quinn, the openly gay mayoral candidate, in a statement Sunday announcing the classes. “The spate of bias attacks against LGBT New Yorkers in recent weeks is unacceptable and must end now."

    The classes are aimed at making people feel more secure.

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    Five people were charged with hate crimes earlier this week for attacking a 25-year-old man in Brooklyn. It was the most recent case in a wave of bias attacks that has put the city on edge.

    The first self-defense class will be led by the Center for Anti-Violence Prevention on June 8 at 4 p.m. at the LGBT Center and another class is scheduled for 7 p.m. on June 12 at the Hudson Guild Elliot Center. 

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    Participants can reserve spaces by calling 212-788-5613 or emailing events@council.nyc.gov.

    Additional classes in Brooklyn and Queens will be announced in coming weeks.

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