Solidarity vigil called in Birmingham for Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub victims
A peaceful vigil has been called in Birmingham to show solidarity with the victims of the Colorado Springs shootings, which left five people dead and many more injured.
Organisers of the event are calling on Brummies to honour those who lost their lives in the United States last weekend, in what has been widely described as a “hate attack” against the LGBTQ+ community.
The mass shooting occurred at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs on Saturday (19 November). Five people were killed, and 25 others were injured, 19 of them by gunfire.
The five victims who died in the vicious attack were Daniel Davis Aston (28), Kelly Loving (40), Ashley Paugh (35), Derrick Rump (38), Raymond Green Vance (22). Two of the victims were transgender and were murdered the night before Transgender Day of Remembrance and during Trans Awareness Week.
Accused of their murder is 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, who entered Club Q while a dance party was being held, wearing body armour and wielding an AR-15 style rifle. Court records show the suspected killer will face multiple murder and hate crime charges.
In the wake of the shocking tragedy, community group Birmingham Against LGBTQI Hate – commonly known as Brum Against Hate – have called a vigil to pay tribute to the victims and show solidarity to their loved ones.
Organisers say attacks against their communities are on the rise, pointing to a sharp increase in transphobia and homophobia across the world.
Activists, campaigners and members of the community will gather outside Nightingale Club in Kent Street at 6pm. The event is supported by the Birmingham Pride team and several of the city’s LGBTQ+ venues, including Village Inn and The Loft.
“Anyone who wishes to show solidarity and love is welcome,” organisers said.
The vigil will host speakers, LGBTQ+ individuals and groups, and allies. Attendees are encouraged to bring along posters, banners, rainbow flags and “symbols of hope”, and are welcome to share their views.
A two-minute silence will also be held for the Colorado Springs victims.
Bobbie Petford, a member of Brum Against Hate, said: “Acts of discrimination and hate crime are on the rise, and we’d had to endure yet another awful shooting in the US.
“We want to come together as people to share our grief, respect and solidarity with victims and loved ones of the terrible event at Club Q in Colorado Springs.
“We also want to come together as a community to show each other and the world that as LGBTQ+ people, we’re valid, we’re here to stay and we refuse to be crushed by hatred.”
A spokesperson for Birmingham Pride said: “Our thoughts and hearts are with the victims and families of the five dead and eighteen injured after a hate attack shooting at LGBTQ+ venue, Club Q in Colorado Springs in the United States.”
Forming last year after a spate of homophobic attacks in the city, Brum Against Hate has called for more to be done to protect the city’s LGBTQ+ community and to make the city’s Gay Village safer.
SOLIDARITY WITH COLORADO 🏳️🌈
Birmingham community group @BrumAgainstHate have organised a vigil for the victims of the Colorado Springs hate attack.
The event will take place on Friday 25th November at 6pm outside the @Nightingaleclub
Everyone welcome pic.twitter.com/bpX4gXeUQa
— Birmingham Pride (@BirminghamPride) November 22, 2022
The protest will be held outside Nightingale Club, 18 Kent St, Birmingham B5 6RD on Friday 25th November, at 6pm. You can find the Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/877781363247265