LA Pride to Observe Moment of Silence for Orlando Shooting Victims

In West Hollywood, those attending the annual LA Pride parade and festival will observe a moment of silence at 10:45 a.m. PT to remember the victims of the attack on a nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

At a press conference on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Crescent Heights Boulevard, where the parade starts, West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister said that “LA Pride will go on.” She said that the city was on “heightened alert” and in coordination with a number of law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.

Among those participating in the parade was Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who said in a statement that Los Angeles Police Department patrols were being increased.

“We are in communications with our partners at the LA Sheriff’s Department and across law enforcement and will provide all support needed to ensure the safety and security of everyone attending today’s events.”

At the press conference, Garcetti said, “I want everyone here to know that we are safe. We are protected.” There was a clear presence of additional law enforcement at the parade’s start.

That the parade was proceeding, he said, was a message that “we will not shrink away. We will not be stuck in our homes. We will not go back in our closets….We are here to march, to celebrate and to mourn.”

Some parade goers held signs that said, “We Love You Orlando,” and one float had the message, “50 Lost. Why?”

West Hollywood City Councilman John Duran wrote on Facebook that while some people had asked whether the parade would be canceled, that is not happening.

“We will march for LGBT rights and pride as we have every year since 1970,” he wrote.

He said that the Sheriff’s Department, which patrols the city, “is on it and on high alert.”

“We are a noble and proud people,” Duran wrote. “We have walked through hatred and darkness, plague and intolerance, lost thousands of our people along the way. We will not cower to terrorists.”

The festival has been taking place throughout the weekend.

The full statement from the city of West Hollywood is below:

“There are no words that capture the heartbreak we feel today. The tragic shooting massacre last night in Orlando, which took the lives of more than 50 people, is nothing short of horrific. This is a terrible reminder to the LGBT community that, though we’ve achieved so much in our fight for full equality, there is still much work to be done for love to prevail. In West Hollywood today, LA Pride will go on. As we march in the streets today under gray skies, and as we take a moment of silence to grieve together before the parade begins, our hearts will be heavy but our resolve will be strong. Public safety is our number-one priority and the City of West Hollywood is on heightened alert and is working closely with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to ensure a safe LA Pride in West Hollywood.”

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