Greens respond to Orlando Attacks

Content Note: Article mentions Murder, and Homophobia.

We’re shocked by the horrific news coming to us today from Orlando about a shooting at Pulse Nightclub, a popular LGBT+ nightclub in the city.

Our thoughts are with all those affected, especially the families of those who have lost their lives.

The attacks as of 15:30BST are believe to have left 50 people dead, and police in Orlando have confirmed it as an act of Domestic Terrorism.

Below are responses from across the Green Parties across the UK to this horrific news.

Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has expressed her sympathy to and solidarity with the victims of the Orlando shootings and their families and friends, the city and the American people.

“I want to express the Green Party’s sympathy for and solidarity with the victims of the Orlando shootings and their families and friends, the city and the American people.

Details of the tragedy are still emerging but what is important now is that the victims and the city know they are being thought of around the world.

I’m proud that London’s gay community — itself the victim of random hate crime with the Admiral Duncan pub bombing –  has already arranged a vigil tomorrow to pay tribute to the victims.”

Aimee Challenor, Equalities (LGBTIQ) Spokesperson for the Green Party of England and Wales 

“Today’s events in Orlando are tragic. The thoughts of us at LGBTIQ Greens, and the wider Green Party, are with all those affected. The only fitting response to such tragedy is to redouble our efforts for justice and equality for the LGBTIQA+ community. Pride is Political, when we take part in Pride events this Summer, let us remember those that were killed in the Pulse Nightclub, just for being themselves and claiming an identity which opposes those within the heteronormative structures of society. We will carry on the Pride of those who lost their lives, and ensure that our community spirit, our LGBTIQA+ pride, shall be as bright and as loud as before.”

Anna Crow, Co-Convener of the Scottish Green Party’s Rainbow Greens

“Shocked and upset at this devastating act of violence against the LGBTI+ community. It’s truly horrifying how people worldwide still face a risk of violence or death simply for being LGBTI+. It is clear too that actions must be taken concerning gun laws in the USA – one wonders how many more people will lose their lives in senseless acts of violence such as this before strong and definitive measures are taken to restrict access to firearms. Thoughts with all those affected as well as their friends and family. The LGBTI+ family and our allies worldwide are mourning these tragic events. We need to keep working together to create a world that is safe and welcoming for all of our LGBTI+ family worldwide.”

Molly Arthurs, Co-Convener of LGBTIQA Young Greens England and Wales

“I have been saddened to hear once again about a senseless, cruel act of violence carried out against innocent members of our community, and stand in solidarity with all of those who have been affected. When confronted with terrorism it is easy to stop fighting, but the only way we will be truly safe is by working to eradicate ignorance and hatred towards the LGBTIQA community. 50 people lost their lives today, and we owe it to each of them to make our world a safer and more tolerant place.”

Andrew Creak, Co-Convener of the Wales Young Greens

“It’s so sad to see things like this happen in the 21st century. With at least 50 dead, our thoughts are with the victims families and friends and those who survived the horrible attack. This terrorist attack on gay men is disgusting, this is why the gun culture of America needs to end. This wasn’t just an attack on the LGBTIQA+ family, but an attack on the people of the world.”

Caroline Lucas MP

“My thoughts are with all those affected by this disgusting act of violence. The LGBTIQ community across the world will be shaken by this attack upon them – and the Green Party stands in solidarity with all those who feel further threatened by homophobia and transphobia after this targeted attack. We all need to redouble our efforts to tackle hate against LGBTIQ people wherever it occurs.”

Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales

“This is a disturbing attack on the whole LGBT community. Greens here offer our thoughts to all those affected by this tragic event, and we hope action is taken to prevent further horrifying attacks like these in the future.”

Shahrar Ali, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales

“My heart goes out to all those left devastated by the abominable actions of a shooter in Orlando. People have been killed in horrific numbers, and others maimed. On a night when celebration of LGBT+ Pride was foremost in the minds of many across the US our reasons for defiance are all the stronger. It is natural for us to speculate about the motivations of the perpetrator. Whatever the findings, we must renew our resolve to fight hatred and bloodshed in all its forms with justice and unity of purpose. Those who would seek division must not be allowed to prevail.”

Sian Berry, London AM

Horrific, heartbreaking news. Hate, intolerance and murder while we are getting ready to celebrate Pride in London.— Sian Berry (@sianberry) June 12, 2016