2am Assembly for Pulse, La Madame, and the Admiral Duncan, post-Pride

In the wee small hours of the morning of Sunday 26 June, at 2am, a contingent of activists from ACT UP London, Queer Strike, and No Pride in War gathered at Piccadilly Circus to perform an action in remembrance of victims of weapons violence at Pulse nightclub (Orlando), La Madame night club (Veracruz) and the Admiral Duncan pub (London). Respectively, 2 weeks, 1 month and 17 years ago, these atrocities bring home to us that violence against LGBTQIA+ people is increasing, and sometimes going unreported. There appears to be an intensified idea that people can plan to kill ‘others’ with weapons they create or gain easy access to. Also, there is a strange reframing of how our governments justify attacks on other nations. Some people might think I just made a mad leap there. But think about this: BAE systems (UK) will sell arms to Saudi Arabia to bomb Yemen; BAE systems manufactured the Red Arrows that flew over Pride in London, in what the RAF refer to as part of a recruitment drive. These Red Arrow models are combat jets that are used by Saudi to bomb civilians. How can it possibly be ok to allow LGBTQIA+ to be the justification of a recruitment drive for murders and increased military presence on our Pride event, especially in the wake of Orlando and Veracruz? What we understand of ‘security’ and ‘protection’ must be placed under scrutiny.

We can’t unpack the minds of the people who shot and bombed groups of LGBTQIA+ at places queer family believed to be safe, queer spaces. But we do know that intolerance played a key role in many aspects around these murders: ostracising, self-hate, killing, silencing, hiding, reporting, news broadcasting, and so on.

In Orlando, two weeks ago at 9pm (2am in London), young folks were preening themselves, making phone calls to friends, planning what to wear and how to travel to Pulse nightclub for an evening of fun with mates, regular punters and strangers. Hours later, their names formed a growing list of fatalities in a shocking event, ‘the worst mass shooting in recent US history’. In the wake of feverish international reports on the massacre, a crack in the cloak of silence that hid the Mexico mass shooting at La Madame nightclub began to open, but it left us wondering whether this was a national cover up, or a story overlooked.

So we met at 2am, the morning after Pride, and we read text on a cycle for 30 minutes, as a group. Strangers stopped to watch and some joined in at random, dunk or sober. We handed out information that explained how we, as participants, are committed to working towards a better understanding across our communities and to strengthen our campaign tactics for an end to violence against all people. We feel it is vital to publicly engage with people and make space available for them to easily connect on these issues.

As Mexico’s first openly gay mayor, Benjamin Medrano, stated in response to the Veracruz shootings, “If we were more educated, we would be less violent; the problem begins when we disrespect our fellow men“ (I’m sure he meant people of all genders).

LGBTQIA+ lives matter. All lives matter.

2am reading:
No pride in homophobia.
Solidarity is survival.
No pride in racism.
Immigration is valuable.
No pride in war.
Art is a weapon.
No pride in corporate greed.
Individual stories matter.
No pride in borders.
We can be friends.
No pride in detention centres.
We have heart.
No pride in transphobia.
History involves everyone.
No pride in arms dealing
We can be more evolved.
No Pride in bombing Syria.
Humanity’s ancient civilization.
No pride in easy arms access.
We must not be collateral damage.
No pride in silence.
Pulse family are in our words.
No pride in blaming lone wolves.
When society is complicit.
No pride in blaming minorities.
They build healthy societies.
No pride in forgetting.
Admiral Duncan still hurts.
No pride in colonial legacy.
Ignorance doesn’t make it alright.
No pride in hiding La Madame.
Truth will surface.

2am Assembly for Pulse, La Madame, and Admiral Duncan

2am Assembly for Pulse, La Madame, and Admiral Duncan

 

2am Assembly, post-Pride against weapons and war in the name of LGBTQIA+

2am Assembly, post-Pride against weapons and war in the name of LGBTQIA+

 

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