Vigil for victims of Orlando shooter to be held this evening

Posted On 13 Jun 2016 at 2:59 pm

Crowds are expected to gather at the New Steine this evening for a vigil in memory of victims of the Orlando shootings, which claimed the lives of almost 50 people.
flag at half mast
Omar Mateen opened fire at the Pulse gay nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning, killing 49 and injuring 53 before being shot by a police marksman.

Isis have since claimed responsibility for the attack, but it is thought Mateen had no prior ties to the terror group. It is one of the worst attacks on the gay community in living memory, and the latest in string of mass shootings in the US.

David Daly, who organised the vigil, said it was important for the gay community to stand in solidarity after the shocking events of the weekend.

He said: “A few of my friends couldn’t get to the vigil in London, and we thought it was important to do something in Brighton.

“For us, the gay community, it’s quite shocking to see that happen. Even though it’s so far away, it seems like it’s on our doorstep.

“People will be bringing candles and getting together for about 20-25 minutes to show that we all stand together.

“The community needs to be more vigilant – we have got Pride coming and sadly that means more hate attacks.”

As well as the vigil at 7.30pm, Brighton and Hove City Council will be flying the rainbow flag at half mast at its offices all this week

Council leader Warren Morgan said: “Brighton and Hove stands in solidarity with the people of Orlando. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with those who have been affected by this abhorrent attack.

“Our LGBT community is vital to the fabric of this city and we will always stand together with pride against such hatred and violence. I know there will be vigils across the world today including in Brighton & Hove and I hope we can all take a moment to remember and celebrate the diversity that makes our city special.

“Also, I am sure there will be extra vigilance from all the LGBT venues and events in the city in the coming months and we must remember to all work together as a city to continue to challenge and report the language and actions of hate, whoever they are perpetrated against.

“We will be flying the LGBT Pride flag at half-mast this week as a mark of solidarity and remembrance.”

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