Orlando Shooting: People gather for vigils at University of East Anglia and city hall

People gather at a vigil at the University of East Anglia to show solidarity for the LGBT+ community

People gather at a vigil at the University of East Anglia to show solidarity for the LGBT+ community - Credit: Archant

People gathered for vigils in Norwich on Monday to show solidarity in the wake of the Orlando attack.

Norwich Pride vigil at City Hall in memory of the people killed and hurt in the Orlando shootings.

Norwich Pride vigil at City Hall in memory of the people killed and hurt in the Orlando shootings. Norwich Pride chairman Andy Futter speaking at the vigil.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Standing in the rain in The Square at the University of East Anglia, members of the LGBT+ community gave emotional speeches about their reaction to the mass shooting at nightclub which killed 50 people and injured 53 more.

Theodore Antoniou read Sharmin Hoque's speech, who was not able to attend the vigil. Sharmin Hoque is Muslim and also a member of the LGBT+ community.

She said: 'Please remember that those who experience Islamophobia, homophobia and transphobia must work together and stand together against hatred, violence or prejudice we may experience or witness.

'Yesterday I woke up being shunned from both sides, having to decide which community to defend and which important part of my identity constantly at each others' throats. But today I woke up with greater strength in protecting and fighting for the LGBT+ community and condemning all violent actions that take place under the name of Islam.'

Norwich Pride vigil at City Hall in memory of the people killed and hurt in the Orlando shootings.P

Norwich Pride vigil at City Hall in memory of the people killed and hurt in the Orlando shootings.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant


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Another student spoke about how the shooting was an 'attack on our community'.

Following the moving speeches, a minute's silence was held in memory of those that lost their lives.

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In the crowd people were holding hands, praying and crying.

Following the moment of silence one person said: 'I will never forget what has happened, it needs to be a turning point.'

Norwich Pride vigil at City Hall in memory of the people killed and hurt in the Orlando shootings.P

Norwich Pride vigil at City Hall in memory of the people killed and hurt in the Orlando shootings.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Meanwhile, Norwich showed its solidarity with the victims of the Orlando shooting at a vigil held in the city centre earlier tonight.

Andy Futter, chairman of Norwich Pride, organised the gathering outside city hall in response to the shooting in America at a gay nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning, which killed 49 and injured more than 50.

Dozens from the LGBT+ community and those wishing to show their support lit candles, held rainbow flags and watched as city hall was illuminated in the Pride colours.

Mr Futter was joined on stage by representatives from LGBT+ venues, Lord Mayor of Norwich Marion Maxwell, LGBT+ activist Katy Jon Went and Julie Innes from the diversity and inclusion team at Norfolk Constabulary.

Speaking about the tragedy, he said the safety of the nightclub in Orlando had been 'shattered in the most brutal way'.

'Our community is strong and over the coming days you will see just how strong the community is,' he said. 'We are scared but we are so empowered by our love... We will not be beaten.'

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