Leamington vigil for Orlando shooting victims

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A vigil to remember 49 people killed in the mass Orlando shooting will be held at the Leamington Peace Festival.

The remembrance and minute of silence will be led by Warwickshire Pride “in remembrance of LGBT victims” killed in Sunday’s attack.

At least 49 were killed and more than 50 others injured after 29-year-old Omar Mateen entered a city gay club and began shooting. He then held several people hostage for three hours before being killed by police SWAT teams.

Members of Warwickshire Pride - which celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people - hope the act will not only pay tribute to all those lives lost, but address ongoing problems of persecution and homophobia.

Organiser, Daniel Browne, said: “What happened in Orlando last weekend is deeply saddening and highlights the truly awful acts of violence that LGBT people are subjected to.

“The vigil is an opportunity for people to come together to remember all of the victims and stand in solidarity with LGBT people worldwide.

“We must stand together as a community and say that it’s not okay for such atrocities to continue.”

The remembrance will take place at 6pm on Saturday (June 18) at the Push Projects stall.

It is being organised by charity, Push Projects LGBTQ Youth Support, which also organises Warwickshire Pride.

Now in its 38th year, the popular Peace Festival at the Pump Room Gardens is a celebration of peace, environmental harmony and co-operation.

Running from 10am on both Saturday and Sunday (June 18 and 19), the free event will bring music, workshops and over 140 stalls to the park.

Visitors can also hear a host of peace talks by Justice for Palestinians, Amnesty International, Keep our NHS public and Warwick District United Nations Association.

There will also be a host of live music and entertainment including by district band, Man Made Moon.

Also performing will be Songlines community choir, Sambassadors of Groove, The Notables, The Spa Strummers and Luke Concannon.

Workshops include laughter yoga, didgeridoo workshops, T’ai Chi and capoeira.

For the first year there will also be three performance areas, a workshop space and children’s zone.

For more information please visit peacefestival.org.uk.