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March against hate

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A large crowd of people marched through the streets of Austin, Saturday, spreading a message to stop hate crimes and violence.

This comes following the attack of two men at 4th Street and Colorado two weeks ago during Austin's Gay Pride celebration. Nick Soret and his friend Andrew Oppleman were at a food truck ago when they were attacked.

Surveillance video, taken by a camera at the food truck and released by Austin Police, shows Oppleman and Soret being attacked. Soret received a black eye and Oppleman lost several teeth, had a broken jaw and a split lip. There's no audio on the tape released to FOX 7, but both men say the attacker, who police haven't caught, was saying anti-gay slurs to them.


"He was saying what are you looking at? Do you want a piece of me? What's wrong with you pretty boy? I'm going hit you. I'm going hit you over and over again," Oppleman said.

"He accused me of thinking that he was cute and making eyes at him. Giving him a look that was basically a come on. To be honest I didn't notice him before he talked to me," Soret said.

Police haven't declared the beating a hate crime, but the gay community and supporters are saying that's exactly what it was. Those who marched tell FOX 7 that this type of violence has to stop.

"I hope that the community comes together and heals a little bit, but also figures out ways of solving the problem that we have with violence," said Michael Diviesti, State Lead Organizer for GetEQUAL TX.

Both men say the support from the community has been overwhelming, but they are still healing physically and emotionally.

"I want this to send a message to the public that this is an ongoing problem. It's been ignored and it could happen to anyone," said Soret.

"Do I feel safe? Not nearly as I did before. I'm always looking over my back now," Oppleman said.

Both say they will not stop until justice is served.

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