Activists stage national die-in for second anniversary of Pulse shooting
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.
Activists hold a National Die-In at the U.S. Capitol on the second anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. https://t.co/63Qk9XKowr
— Circa (@Circa) June 12, 2018
Organisers had hoped to attract as many as 100,000 participants.
At National Die-In Day—and in the shadow of the US Capitol—protesters read the names of the 49 killed at Pulse nightclub. Roses were placed on the lawn to mark each of those killed two years ago today. #OrlandoUnited pic.twitter.com/1dq6VTikN6
— Christal Hayes (@Journo_Christal) June 12, 2018
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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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.
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.”