Orlando charities call for unity ahead of first anniversary of Pulse nightclub shooting
A group of 59 charities in Orlando, Florida, have released a call for a ‘Day of Remembrance’ on June 12th next week, to mark the first anniversary of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting.
The group of non-profits from the LGBT, Muslim, and Latin communities stressed the importance of solidarity, noting that the attack on Pulse nightclub was followed by a backlash against the American Muslim community.
The announcement came as news emerged of anti-Muslim rallies scheduled around the United States this week.
The massacre last year left 49 dead in a gay nightclub in Orlando, prompting mourning across the US, as well as a renewed debate over gun control.
Most of Mateen’s victims were Latino.
The killer, 29-year-old security guard Omar Mateen, swore allegiance to ISIS in a 911 call made shortly before the attack.
The groups calling for unity this year include the Human Rights Campaign, Asian Pacific American Labour Allegiance, Farmworker Justice, GLAAD, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, and OutRight Action International.
“Despite the repeated attempts to use fear to further divide us, time and time again, the people of this country come together to console and support those in need,” the joint statement wrote.
“We renew our commitment to honor them with action by protecting one another and our country’s ideals of freedom, liberty, and equality under the law for all people.”
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The groups also expressed alarm at a “rising tide of hate violence” and a “massive rollback of civil rights protections at the state and federal level”.
The massacre last year prompted outpourings of grief in LGBT communities across the world.
In London, for example, streets in the city’s gay district Soho drew to a standstill a few days after the attack as thousands joined hands at a vigil to pay their respects.
In December of last year Orlando responded to the massacre by setting up a scheme that allows businesses to identify themselves as safe places for LGBT customers.
Local businesses in the Florida city received window decals to identify them as allies to the LGBT community.
More than 500 decals were prepared for the launch on the scheme.