Listen to the Pride in Plymouth Out Loud Radio Show recorded Sunday 19th June one week after the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. Hear Jo Pine read her poem ‘The Pulse‘ which was written in response to to shooting and read by Jo at the Plymouth Stands With Orlando Vigil held on Wednesday 15th June. Go to the Out Loud Radio Show page for other recordings. Share this…
Orlando Shooting and background to the Vigil
On Sunday 12th June 2016 news broke that 49 people had been killed and 53 others were injured in a shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.
The attack on the LGBTQ community prompted international condemnation with 100’s of vigils and rallies being held across many cities in the world.
Here in the UK many councils flew the rainbow flag at half mast from the Monday immediately after the attack through to Saturday 19th June. Oddly here in Plymouth the Council Leader Ian Bowyer (Cons) refused to fly the flag after a direct request from former leader of of the council Tudor Evans (Lab). This prompted an angry response from Plymouth citizens with a frenzy of activity on social media, Chantel Rose-Smith launched an on-line petition that was signed by over 300 people within 24 hours.
At the same time the directors of Pride in Plymouth had decided to organise a Plymouth Vigil that would be held on Wednesday 15th June outside Cafe Kiss where we were due to hold our monthly LGBTQ social eXpresso Yourself. This location seemed very fitting as it is also outside Plymouth’s oldest ‘gay bar’ The Swallow.
Plymouth City Council bowed to public pressure offing a compromise where they would mark the vigil by flying the flag at half mast on that day. They also opened a book of condolence at the one stop shop in the city centre, the leader of the council agreed to write a personal letter to the Mayor of Orlando, and there will be a minutes silence at the next full council meeting.
The vigil was a great success uniting members of the LGBTQ communities and wider Plymouth community to show respect for the victims and their families, we stood in solidarity against hate sending a united message of love and support not only to our brothers and sisters in Orlando but to the global LGBTQ community.
Towards the end of the Vigil we introduced some colour by handing out 49 balloons for people to take home with them.
The message was very clear that ‘We are Stronger Together‘ #LoveWins