Guerrilla Gardening Targets Homophobia

Paul Harfleet, a self confessed “accidental activist” is doing his bit to highlight the rising number of incidents of homophobic abuse in London.

Mr Harfleet, 37, has launched the Pansy Project, where a solitary flower is planted where homophobic abuse has reportedly taken place. He plans to plant a pansy in over 100 locations in the capital over the summer, and then take a photograph. He has previously embarked on similar projects in Manchester and Liverpool.

The project aims to highlight homophobic abuse whilst planting a seed of hope for those affected. Cases of homophobic abuse have risen 14% in the period 2008 to 2011 from levels recorded between 2004 and 2007.

Mr Harfleet said the project is “not statistical, but more of an anecdotal capturing of hate crime.” A series of incidents in Manchester in 2005 was the launch pad for the project.  With the aid of social media, the project has thus far taken him as far as New York and Istanbul.

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