Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Making a stand against hate: UK unites to support Orlando

stonewallflagtout.jpg

Cities across the UK will come to a standstill on Monday evening in a tribute to the 49 people murdered at a gay club in Orlando over the weekend - America's deadliest mass shooting in modern history.

In London's Soho, bars on Old Compton Street will stop serving at 7pm and encourage customers to take to the streets as balloons are released in honour of those killed at Pulse nightclub in the early hours of Sunday.

orlando victims

Friends and family of victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting outside the Orlando Police Department

More than 2,000 people have said they will attend London Stands with Orlando, which has been organised by members of the LGBT community in the capital.

Vigils across the country include:

  • George Square, Glasgow, 5.30pm
  • Lower Briggate, Leeds, 11pm
  • Speaker’s Corner, Nottingham: 7pm
  • Central Hall, Coventry, 7pm
  • New Stine, Brighton, 7.30pm

Pride In London will hold a minute's silence to remember the Orlando victims when it holds its main weekend of activities on 25 June in Trafalgar Square.

Vigils and rainbow-themed tributes have been taking place across the world and online through the #PrayforOrlando hashtag. One World Trade Center was among the famous landmarks to light up its spires.

The attack was carried out by lone gunman Omar Mateen, who called 911 to pledge allegiance to so-called Islamic State before he opened fire, NBC News reports.

The 29-year-old security guard, who was born in New York, has been described by his ex-wife as "mentally ill" and "violent." A former colleague told NBC he was "racist" and that his "button-pushers" were "always women, race or religion." He was shot dead by police at the scene.

Mateen's father said his son hated gay people.

friends and family of victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting wait outside of the Orlando Police Department

Friends and family of victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting outside the Orlando Police Department

There were more than 300 people in the popular nightclub when he opened fire and many who heard the first gunshots believed they were part of the music. 

"All you saw is people running and screaming and there were bodies in the parking lot where bodies were being tagged," club-goer Christopher Hansen told CNN. "It was like a scene from a horror movie."

One mother told of how her murdered son's heartbreaking last texts to her read: “Mommy I love you ... In club they shooting.”

Mina Justice's 30-year-old son Eddie was trapped in the club's toilets as the gunman fired out shots from an AR-15 assault rifle and a handgun. 

“He’s coming I’m gonna die,” the terrified man wrote. He was confirmed to have died this morning.

More than 50 people have been injured in the shooting, many seriously.

In Orlando, blood banks have been overwhelmed by people queuing up to make donations to help the injured.

"You want to do something to help," Frank Tiffany, 69, told the Orlando Sentinel, as he waited in line with hundreds of others. "It's hard to believe ...You have to do something to help. You can't stay home."

Volunteers wait to donate blood for victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting at One Blood

Volunteers wait to donate blood for victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting at One Blood

In an address to the nation, President Obama described the attack as an "act of terror and an act of hate." He called it a "heartbreaking day" for the LGBT community. David Cameron said he was "horrified" by the massacre.

As the identities of victims begin to emerge, JK Rowling tweeted a tribute to 22-year-old Luis Vielma, who worked on the Harry Potter theme park ride in Orlando.

Comments

More

Messy people everywhere, scientists have very good news for you

Show this article to the next person who dares to complain about your messy desk

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Apr 2017

Science says this is how to get over a break up

Because how many Celine Dion power ballads can we really perfect?

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

Cheese addicts, science says that brie could help you live longer

We can’t brie-lieve it…

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Apr 2017

Netflix's GLOW celebrates the might of women in all forms

The new show might be the best thing to hit Netflix this year

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

Calling all Harry Potter superfans: we've found your dream job

Fancy running the new Harry Potter exhibition?

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

The innovative beer advert trying to bring people together

It has already clocked up millions of views on YouTube

by Amy Swales
28 Apr 2017

Viral photo series captures what it truly means to be black and Muslim

The photo series captures “the most resilient people in the world"

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

First Dates’ Raymond taught us an important lesson about loneliness

‘Just to hear somebody else breathing… that’s all I want’

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Apr 2017

These cheesy, cheesy recipes will give you life

Get a load of this fromagerie

by Jasmine Andersson
27 Apr 2017

This Commuter Barbie video is the most relatable thing we’ve ever seen

“Commuter Barbie has a seat at the table – and on the train!”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
27 Apr 2017