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Crime

Activists stage national die-in for second anniversary of Pulse shooting

Ella Braidwood June 12, 2018

Activists have staged a dramatic die-in to commemorate the second anniversary of the Pulse massacre.

A total of 49 people were killed at Orlando’s Pulse gay club during the horrific mass shooting in June 2016 when gunman Omar Mateen, who had pledged support for ISIS, opened fire on the crowd.

At the time it was the deadliest mass shooting in recent US history, though it has since been surpassed.

Today, dozens protesting against America’s controversial gun laws staged a National Die-In at the National Mall in Washington DC to commemorate those who died in the tragic shooting.

Activists placed roses 49 – one to represent every person killed – on the lawn outside the National Mall.

The event was also attended by Parkland survivors.

Organisers had hoped to attract as many as 100,000 participants.

One of the event’s founders, Orlando campaigner Amanda Fugleberg, lives 15 minutes from the site of the shooting. She previously said that the massacre had deeply shaken her.

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 12: People hold candles as they attend a one year anniversary memorial service for victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub being held at Lake Eola Park on June 12, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Omar Mateen killed 49 people at the club a little after 2 a.m. on June 12, 2016. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
People remember those who lost their lives (Joe Raedle/Getty)

“It was the first news I saw when I woke up that day and I remember the death toll just rising,” she told Advocate.

“It brought me to tears to know something like that happened so close.”

The die-in was promoted across social media (nationaldiein/twitter)

She said she had reached out to David Hogg, who has spoken out for better gun legislation in the wake of the Parkland shooting in February that left 17 dead.

 

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 12: Melinda Vargas and Natascha Soto (L-R) visit the memorial setup outside the Pulse gay nightclub as they remember those lost one year ago during a mass shooting on June 12, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Omar Mateen killed 49 people at the club a little after 2 a.m. on June 12, 2016. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
49 people were killed at the gay venue (Joe Raedle/Getty)

She added that Hogg, who recently led a successful die-in campaign against Publix over its support of a National Rifle Association-backed candidate for Governor, had expressed strong support for the event.

Survivors from Parkland and Pulse met each other earlier this year, in an emotional event which saw attendees stand together as the names of the 66 victims of both mass shootings were read aloud.

CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MAY 25: Protesters participate in a "die'-in" protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida. The activists many of whom are Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students entered the Publix store to protest against the company's support of political candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association who oppose gun reform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The Publix die-in (Joe Raedle/Getty)

Fugleberg, who arranged the die-in with fellow activist Frank Kravchuk, started planning it less than two weeks ago, in conjunction with a march on June 11 in Orlando led by Pulse survivor Brandon Wolf.

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 12: Dillon Caldwell places a candle in the memorial setup outside the Pulse gay nightclub as he remembers those lost one year ago during a mass shooting on June 12, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Omar Mateen killed 49 people at the club a little after 2 a.m. on June 12, 2016. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Mourners lay candles for those who lost their lives (Joe Raedle/Getty)

In terms of where she stands on gun control, Fugleberg said: “I’d like to see universal background checks, which right now are not great considering the Pulse shooter was able to acquire guns when he’d been on an FBI watch list.”

More: david hogg, Florida, national die-in, Orlando, parkland, Pulse, shooting, US, US, Washington DC

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