Orlando attack: thousands rally in Old Compton Street, London, in solidarity

Vigil held at site of 1999 bombing to honour LGBT victims

Pride rainbow flag

 

Thousands are set to rally in the heart of London’s LGBT scene tonight to commemorate victims of the Orlando massacre, which killed 50 people on Sunday morning and left dozens more injured.

London Stands with Orlando vigil’ will see more than 2,500 people come together in Soho at 7pm in memory of those who died.

Yesterday’s attack was the largest mass shooting in America’s history and has been called the largest attack on LGBT people in the West since the Second World War.

Attendees at tonight’s vigil will join hands, with organisers planning a two minute silence at 7:05pm along Old Compton Street, Soho – where the Admiral Duncan pub was bombed by neo-Nazi David Copeland in 1999.

The start of the silence signalled by a bell and whistles will be followed by a 50-balloon release – each one in memory of the victims.

GayStarNews reports that tonight’s vigil

‘is being coordinated by LGBTI scene venues and community organizers to send a message of solidarity to the LGBTI community and the people of Orlando.’

In an article for Gay Times, organisers of the vigil said:

‘In times like these, it’s even more important for the LGBT+ community and its allies to come together and show the world that we stand strong.

What happened between 2am and 5am in Orlando was an act of hate. It was an act of hate against our LGBT+ community during a month that is supposed to represent love and acceptance around the world.

Let this be a wake up call for the LGBT+ community to stand strong, put aside whatever differences we get bogged down with and stand tall, together.’

Information on the ‘London Stands with Orlando vigil’ is available here. 

Josiah Mortimer is a regular contributor to Left Foot Forward. You can follow him on Twitter@josiahmortimer.

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