LGBT community marches in rally against hate crimes

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by Melissa Mahadeo / KVUE News with Photojournalist Derek Rasor

kvue.com

Posted on October 6, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 8 at 7:38 AM

AUSTIN -- Saturday morning dozens marched from City Hall to the State Capitol to give a voice to the victims of hate crimes who are afraid to come forward.

“Someone has to be strong for those who can’t be strong,” Andrew Oppleman said.

Oppleman was the victim of a potential hate crime that happened in downtown Austin just weeks ago.

“Whenever I see the video, my spirit breaks again and again and again,” he said about watching the recently released surveillance video that recorded his attack.

His friend Nick Soret was also attacked.

In a rally on Saturday they marched to the Capitol, spoke out against hate crimes and promised the attacker in the video that he will be arrested.

“I promise you, they will find you,” Nick Soret said in a speech.

Oppleman still struggles to talk about the night he was attacked. It's something Wyll Silbas said Oppleman won't forget.

Silbas was the victim of a hate crime attack 28 years ago.

“I mean the fear is always there,” Silbas said.

He said the memory will always sting, but support and moments like Saturday's rally will help the scars fade.

“It is not going to happen overnight, it takes sometime, but it does get better,” Silbas said.

For more information on the event click here.

If you have any information about the attack, the victims ask that you email them at: marchagainsthate1@gmail.com or call APD.

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