May 8, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

#OrlandoStrong Candlelight Vigil in Venice

Photo credit: Venice Paparazzi

By Melanie Camp

Hundreds of neighbors gathered under the Venice Sign at the Orlando Strong Candlelight Vigil in Venice on June 13. Just one day after the tragic mass shooting inside Pulse night club in Orlando.

Gathering to pay tribute to those who died and to pray for those wounded, many grieved for those lost after 29 year old Omar Mateen killed 49 people during a June 12 rampage inside the club.

The vigil mirrored similar events held on the night all around the country.

Venice Local Grant Turck, who was part of a small group that arranged Venice Pride this year, read a list of the names of the those lost in the massacre. Meanwhile the crowd stood somber, silent tears glistening in the candlelight.

“What happened in Orlando, I still haven’t had the ability to comprehend it,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin as he addressed the crowd. “I still haven’t wrapped my mind around it. Last week at the city council meeting we were celebrating LGBT Pride and this year, because we had celebrated so many successes over the past couple of years; marriage equality, so many states making progress… We learned yesterday that the battle for LGBT equality is far from over.”

Bonin said that on the day of the Pulse shooting he started a meeting with a moment of silence, “I thought at the time it was an act of respect. I actually think today it is not the most respectful way to respond…I think the most respectful way to respond to what happened yesterday is loudly and angrily. Is pissed-off. Is furious. Do what the old labor standard says and ‘Don’t mourn, but organize.’

The crowd seemed to agree, individuals calling out, “Yes.” Emotions running raw, Bonin did not hold back in his speech.

“Something is really f*#ked in this country. I’d like to think that what happened yesterday will change something but when a congresswoman is nearly assassinated and nothing happens. When a church is invaded and nothing happens. When school kids are gunned down and nothing happens. Things are just profoundly and pathologically effed-up in this country and we can’t let it continue. We can’t pretend that this is something that we get used to. We need to organize and we need to demand that gun control legislation be put in place. We need to demand that every backwards, back-arse-wards  leaning state in this country that has been enshrining hate and bigotry changes their laws.”

Bonin rallied the group to take action and travel to Washington and other state capitals to lobby for legislation saying, “we got a lot of blessings here in Los Angeles. We need to be making some trips.”

Getting up to speak before the crowd, Daniel Samakow co-owner of the Venice bars and restaurants Danny’s, Canal Club, and James’ Beach said, “I’m so grateful to be in a community like this that honors the feelings of diversity that this community has stood for for hundreds of years.”

Many shared moving photos of the night on social using #orlandostrong and #loveislove to show that while hate may hate love, love is stronger.

From now through June 30th the community, whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or straight is invited to participate in the Kiss the One You Love campaign. To be part of the movement simply kiss someone you love under the Venice Sign and share your photo using #venicepridekiss.

See more pictures from Venice Paparazzi here.

Related Posts

Tokyo-Style Pizza?

April 29, 2021

April 29, 2021

The Rose Venice’s Jason Neroni announces plans for former A-Frame space on Washington Blvd. By Kerry Slater A Venice-chef is...

Restaurant Spotlight: Tar And Roses Serves Up Wood-Fired Cuisine, Earthy Wines With Reopening

April 22, 2021

April 22, 2021

Popular SM restaurant back up and running By Toi Creel Far too many restaurants have fallen victim to the pandemic....

Mixed-Use Development Proposed for Windward Circle

March 23, 2021

March 23, 2021

Three-story townhouse project with restaurant planned for Main Street in Venice By Sam Catanzaro A developer wants to replace two...

Check out the 10 Venice Restaurants Taking Part in dineL.A.

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

First ‘spring’ season of culinary event to begin first week in March By Kerry Slater 10 Venice restaurants will participate in...

Venice Student Receives Education Award from The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition

January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

Seven area students were presented Education Awards by The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition at the first-ever...

PIQUE Health Not Your Average Medical Practice

December 7, 2020

December 7, 2020

PIQUE Health is the very first comprehensive mens health center in Beverly Hills. With highly personalized treatment plans that fit...

Acclaimed Abbot Kinney Restaurant Closes 18-Months After Opening

November 25, 2020

November 25, 2020

Vartan Abgaryan says Abbot Kinney Boulevard restaurant Yours Truly will not be reopening By Kerry Slater An acclaimed Abbot Kinney...

Senior Housing Development Would Include 12-Stories, Over 100 Units

November 17, 2020

November 17, 2020

Belmont Village project to go before Westwood Design Review Board By Sam Catanzaro A 12-story, 153-foot-tall, senior housing project is...

Venice Getting Indonesian Restaurant: Westside Food Scene

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Westside Food Scene October 22, 2020 By Kerry Slater New Indonesian Restaurant Opening in Venice A restauranteur has opened an...

Swimmer Abby Bergman is Fourth Person to Cross Santa Monica Bay

October 2, 2020

October 2, 2020

On September 3, Abby Bergman succeeded in swimming solo 27 miles across Santa Monica Bay in 16 hours 25 minutes...

Edify TV: National Women’s Health and Fitness Day!

September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

September 30th marks National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, Here are a few fun activities to try out in celebration...

COVID-19 Could Have Been in Los Angeles as Early as Last December

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

UCLA study reports significant increase in coughs and acute respiratory failure prior to first official cases of COVID-19 By Sam...