The Gay Murder?

03-197207XX-03On Friday 8 July the body of a young man was discovered in a flooded gravel pit near Colnbrook, Buckinghamshire.

Frogmen on a routine training session discovered the body of twentythree year old Paul Duval lying face-down in the bushes.

A post mortem revealed that Paul had been murdered late Thursday evening and had died due to multiple injuries inflicted by a knife to the heart and chest area.

One theory currently being investigated by police is that Paul was murdered for rebuking another man’s sexual advances.

The National press and local Radio have repeatedly reported over the last 12 days that the area where the body was found is a popular gay meeting place, a sort of miniature Hampstead Heath.

A local police spokesman, who has been attached to Slough Police Station for the last ten years, said that the area, to the best of his knowledge, was only frequented by ‘fishermen’ at night time. Furthermore, any reports in the national press stating this area to be frequented by homosexuals was complete and utter fabrication acting only as a cheap booster to the reportage of that particular national newspaper.

The Evening News and the Evening Standard have both over the last week stated categorically and supported by their police spokesman, that the Colnbrook area is crawling with homosexuals at night time. ‘These views” said our spokesman, “are completely unfounded and would not be supported by any officer attached to this station.”

Gay Oppression in South London

03-197207XX-03The G.L.F. commune in Brixton has been forced to leave for quieter shores, after having been under seige by the local kids from Tulse Hill Comprehensive. The communards made no attempt to hide who or what they are, and as a result suffered considerable persecution. Some were attacked individually (one guy had a milk bottle smashed over his head), but the house was attacked almost nightly; bricks and bottles were thrown through windows, and on one occasion a fight began when a group of boys broke down the front door and tried to get in. Chief Inspector Peter Brooks, community liason officer at Brixton Police Station, said “We are aware of the situation at the school and are keeping an eye on it”.

Since the trouble had come from the school-children, it seemed logical to go and talk to them. However, the communards were not well received when they attempted to leaflet during the lunch break, and the headmaster called the police to remove them. “I have had no formal complaints about any attacks by boys. Our objective (in calling the police) was to get these people away from the boys and off the school premises. If they want to discuss the situation formally I shall be happy to consider doing so but I will not be put under any duress by demonstrations of this sort.” said the headmaster. Does nothing happen at that school until it is ‘formally’ noted?

With little help from either the local community of the police, the situation did not improve, and the commune was eventually asked to move out by the agents from whom they were renting the house because of the continued damage and disturbance. One boy was suspended from the school for assisting them to leaflet there. And so the commune is now in temporary quarters in Notting Hill. There seems to have been little else left to do, but it seems appalling that a group of gay people should have to face such hostility alone.

If they had been a black family then there a at least have been some protection from the law to assist them in combatting the violent prejudices of the local inhabitants. As it is, gay people must either hide away in ‘safe’ areas or masquerade as straight if they wish to be left in peace. The attempt to set up an openly fay commune in an area like Brixton and the reactions to it prove we still have a long way to go before we are accepted.

Police Put~Up Job Collapses in Court

03-197207XX-03On June 21st the five members of CHE arrested for obstruction outside Samantha’s club, Manchester (see Gay News 1.) were acquitted of the charge.

Police evidence stated that the two woman, Glenys Parry and Liz Stanley were standing on either side of the club door trying to prevent two men from entering the club. They also stated that the doorman was present, but neither the doorman nor the two obstructed club members were in court.

The evidence of the accused and an independent witness consistently denied the presence of any men or the doorman; they stated that they had been walking quickly along the street, crossing over and returning on the opposite side, making it impossible for any members to be inconvenienced.

The two police witnesses did not agree between themselves on the nature of the obstruction caused by the three male defendants, The hearing lasted two hours, after which the magistrates dismissed the charge.

Police comment to one of the defendants: “I’ll get you next time.”

Platform Wreathed With Flowers

03-197207XX-03Che’s all-London Congress could, depending on your standpoint, be regarded as a success. Quite a few ideas were aired, there was none of the tension that has sometimes characterized previous mass meetings. The platform had been wreathed with flowers. Maybe thats why. About 200 people turned up and sat in grave rows in the Holborn Assembly Rooms. Gavin chaired alone, deciding (rightly) we could do without a line of glum celebrities flanking him.

Most of the time was spent discussing the Che club. The establishment of a nation-wide series of non-profit making, well equipped clubs for homosexual men and women is one of Che’s prime aims. It looks as though it is up to London Che to do it being bigger and therefore richer (though not necessarily wiser) than the provincial groups.

The treasurer told us early that the Building Fund now stood at £449.96. A great deal of discussion ensued about priorities – that is, should this club start right off as a sort of C.O.C. enterprise, or was the acquisition of a small permanent office more important just now? David Bell claimed that the Che club would “be the one thing that Che is known for the world over”. Gavin decided it was not very rewarding to look to Europe where things were different and had been so for some lime.

A few lone voices expressed doubt about the wisdom of apparently competing with existing gay clubs, and someone else told us to avoid the church hall syndrome since members wouldn’t come to meetings.

However, this wasn’t exactly supported as the entire meeting heavily agreed that they would attend Che meetings no matter where they were held. The temperature rose just before half time when one guy, obviously cheesed off with the debating stood up and threw a 50p piece on the floor and bullied everyone to do the same. His idea was action now and to hell with the chat. His enthusiasm was partly infectious as that little episode added an instant £70.86 to the Building Fund.

There was some inconclusive chat about Che’s central London groups and the growing number of local ones. We heard that gramophone enthusiasts, poetry-lovers, drama-buffs, car rally maniacs, musical souls, sporting types were now being catered for by a series of groups set up to pursue these hobbies. There was to be a choir as well, and a sports club. And a dining club.

The assembly was intended to provide an opportunity for members to sound off about Che, to criticize and make suggestions. So the larger part of time was spent, inevitably, on internal topics. But the meeting was opened and closed by discussion of more general and more relevant topic. Immediately the dynamic Jacquie Forster of Sappho harrangued the meeting about male-domination of Che. “Do you spend any time at all thinking about Lesbians?” she cried, “equality must mean more girls in Che”. And we agreed. There was, she added, no evidence of any campaigning activities. And why not? The IT case was touched upon, but briefly with a reminder that a great many people had written letters to all sorts of publications and indeed, that week Che had scored highly with letters published.

Altogether the meeting produced a tremendous feeling of unity, enthusiasm and confidence that in London Che is doing the right thing and beginning to do it rather well.