Oxford stands with victims of Orlando attack

A vigil was held last night outside the Radcliffe Camera to honour the victims of the Orlando attack, in which 49 people were killed.

Hundreds of people gathered on the north side of Radcliffe Square for the event which began at 8.30pm.

OUSU’s LGBTQ Campaign, who organised the event, handed out candles, whilst poems and the victims’ names were read out. A two-minute silence was also observed.

Catherine Kelly, OUSU’s LGBTQ Officer, released this statement to The Oxford Student:

“The LGBTQ Campaign made the decision to hold a vigil because we felt it was extremely important to honour and remember the 49 victims of the Orlando attacks, almost all of whom were Latinx and black LGBTQ+ people.

As a community, many of us have felt shocked and frightened by this act of queerphobic violence- we build spaces like Pulse to try and meet together safely and joyfully, and it is horrifying to see one of these spaces infiltrated by violence. As a community, it’s so important that we stand together and support each other, and particularly that we support LGBTQ+ Muslim people, and those with mental illnesses, and refuse to collude in the Islamophobia and the ableism that has come out in the coverage of this event.

At times the message of ‘Love wins’ can ring hollow: we cannot end systemic oppression of LGBTQ people through love alone, we have to keep up the often gruelling fight against political and social forces that dehumanise queer and particularly trans people.”

This week, many Oxford colleges have been flying the rainbow flag in memory of the victims.