Tonight: Vigil To Be Held For Orlando Victims

June 13, 2016

[Updated] Mark Anderson — the well known local entertainer and LGBT advocate — is calling on the people of Bermuda to attend the Cenotaph in front of the Cabinet building at 6.30pm this evening [June 13] to pay respects and show our love following the tragic events which took place in Orlando, Florida.

The mass shooting in Orlando early Sunday morning was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, and left 50 dead and more than 50 injured.

The attack took place at an Orlando establishment called Pulse, described as one of the city’s “hottest gay bars”, with the club reportedly playing host to hundreds of patrons before the shooting, which was committed by 29-year-old Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, who was later killed by police.

BBC news report on the mass shooting:

NBC news reports, “Investigators probing gunman Omar Mateen’s massacre at least 49 people at a popular gay nightclub in Florida are trying to determine whether terrorism, homophobia or both pushed him over the edge.”

“An ex-co-worker told NBC News that Mateen was racist, belligerent and ‘toxic.’ His father told NBC News his son was enraged after recently seeing a same-sex couple kissing in front of his family, an event that could have set him off.

“In 2013, Mateen was interviewed twice by federal agents after co-workers reported that he made “inflammatory” comments to them about radical Islamic propaganda. The following year, the FBI looked at him again because of ties with an American who traveled to the Middle East to become a suicide bomber.”

“Our hearts are broken for the victims and families of the horrific tragedy in Orlando,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, the President of the U.S.-based LGBT advocacy group GLAAD.

“This unimaginable atrocity has not only robbed countless people of their loved ones, it has also stolen a sense of safety within the LGBTQ community. As we mourn the victims of this unspeakable attack, we are also reminded that the work to end hate in all its forms must continue.” Ms Ellis added.

Saying they stand “shoulder to shoulder with the LGBT community,” the Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo directed the One World Trade Center to be lit the colors of the pride flag in a “tribute to LGBT Americans and the lives that were lost.”


President Barack Obama ordered US flags at all federal buildings to be flown at half-staff, including at the White House and at embassies around the world.

Calling it an “unimaginable and senseless tragedy,” Premier Michael Dunkley said, “Our hearts are heavy today and our immediate thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the those killed and injured.

“Bermuda grieves with the Orlando community and stands in solidarity with them. And we join in the global condemnation of this act of hate and intolerance. These will undoubtedly be extremely difficult days and weeks ahead.

“And as we struggle to come to grips with this unthinkable tragedy, let us all pray for peace, respect, tolerance and understanding for one another,” the Premier added.

The event will be held at 6.30pm this evening at the Cenotaph in front of the Cabinet building on Front Street in Hamilton, and everyone is welcome to attend.

Update 6.45pm: The gathering is underway. It began with a prayer, Mark Anderson then read out the names of the victims, and now Tony Brannon is speaking.

gathering to show support for Orlando June 2016 (1)

gathering to show support for Orlando June 2016 (2)

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Comments (63)

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  1. Say Whaat? says:

    Why is it at the cabinet building? This seems political. Why not at a night club or a similar venue?

    • Jus' Wonderin' says:

      Cuz Blue Juice is gone…

      • Real Deal says:

        they still have czneses or what ever its call next to kfc.

        open your eye and the truth people


    • Just the Tip says:

      Would you rather we gather round Parliment, would that seem less political?

    • dual says:

      You are right, why not Victoria Park or somewhere else central and neutral? I guess the issue is slightly political now due to the referendum, but that really shouldn’t be the focus.

      • OnionBird says:

        The Cenotaph is where we mourn those lost! It is very appropriate that it was used to mourn the killings of innocent people by a terrorist with an assault weapon. . . This terrorist not declared war not only on the Gay community, but the USA.

      • Nightlilly says:

        It is extremely political when people lose their lives over just existing

    • Showing Respect says:

      As Mark is more or less a PLP supporter, not likely political.. But irrespective of his political affiliation and or the location is irrelevant. Showing respect, no matter where it’s held, should be all that matters.

      • Its me again says:

        Mark is very much OBA

        The entire LGBQT community is remember they all voted OBA as the OBA told them they would amend the human rights act.

        • Mike Hind says:

          And they did. They stood up for equality and fulfilled their promise.
          That’s what governments are supposed to do.

          Why is that bad now?

          • smh says:

            that’s why they’re having a referendum instead of giving you equality, right…..oh…

            • Mike Hind says:

              You specifically mentioned amending the HRA, which they did.

              What are you on about?

          • OnionBird says:

            They are also forgetting not all PLP Supporters are anti-gay!

    • joe says:

      It is at the Cenotaph, a place where deceased are remembered.

    • the struggle is real says:

      Is the venue really *that* big a deal? We have a remarkable ability to politicize everything on this island. 50 people just lost their lives, and 53 more injured. Freaking hell, can someone stop the planet for a second so I can get off?

      • Thinking says:

        People life’s lost all over the world everyday why is these one so special why?

        • Mike Hind says:

          Wow. Seriously?

          • smh says:

            Dead serious 100+ African children killed while in school in a mass shooting the same damn day…but you are down front street praying for one specific group.

            • Mike Hind says:

              I meant “Wow, seriously, THIS is the low to which you’ll stoop in order to push your agenda?”

              Tragedies elsewhere do not diminish the tragedy that happened.

              Here’s the question…

              If it’s so important to you, why are you not doing more to bring awareness to it?

              Where are the links? Where is the vigil for these victims? Where is the charity that we can donate to in order to help their families ?

              Oh, wait. It’s not. This is just an excuse for you to denounce people you don’t think are worthy of access to equal rights.

              Never mind. I took you seriously for a second.

        • ID10T Error says:

          Thinking… seems like you aren’t thinking at all.
          This one is special because it is the deadliest mass shooting in US history AND it was driven by Religious hate.

          Why are you acting like its no big deal? Bermudians visit Orlando every year on family vacations.

          Sounds like the only reason you don’t care is because the victims are gay.

          • Thinking says:

            So error because we don’t travel to the middle east on family vacation we don’t care about the people life’s that been damaged over there or no where else in the world more than 50 people killed in bombing villages been wipe out kids been murdered every year just remember the world spinning

          • smh says:

            Wrong…1921 in Tulsa Oklahoma was the worst mass shooting in U.S. History…when the Whites Shot n killed 300+ Blacks and Indians. #checkthefacts

        • Its me again says:

          Thanks for the common sense.

          2000 people where murdered this week in Nigeria. Where is their virgil.

          Hundreds of gays are burnt to death in africa, where is their vigil?

          • KayGee says:

            Why don’t you organise a vigil for them?

      • Reality Check says:

        You are so right !! F#^*+¥g embarrassing the garbage that comes from some of our fellow Bermudians !

    • Rich says:

      It was at the cenotaph where victims or war are remembered. Seems very fitting based on the location..

    • Nightlilly says:

      Because it is political.

      A hate crime against a minority took place during a month that is set aside to celebrate that minority in a venue that was a safe space for that minority and specifically in Bermuda: during the run up to a referendum that will decided rights for that minority (sort of, non-binding as it is)

  2. Its me again says:

    Where are the prayers for africa where gays are burnt to death?

    Why is it that when something terrible haappens in America we forget the rest of the world and focus soley on them? Does America pray for Bermuda? Are they helping with our debt?

    • USA! says:

      Because the US is the best country in the world, and we should bow down to them daily :)

    • Be Heard says:

      It only takes one person to start a movement. You can choose to criticise or choose to bring community together. Start a vigil and see your community bond together! Stop waiting for someone else to do it for you.

    • Nightlilly says:

      I assume it’s because we have a closer ties the the US than to Nigeria (for example) and I also imagine this vigil held more importance after the hate group held their vigil in the wake of these hate-crimes.

  3. the truth will set you free says:

    Terrorism in Africa: A bigger threat than in Europe, but much less coverage Are African lives worth less than the lives of people elsewhere in the world?

    Conflict, Military, Africa, EU, Accident, Politics, Europe, Human rights, Terrorism, War, Clashes, Violence, Nigeria, Al-Qaeda
    Last week 17 people were killed by terrorists in France. The events were shocking and quite rightly the murders were subject to unequivocal condemnation. At the same time, considerably more people were reported to have been killed by gunmen in Baga, Nigeria, with figures ranging from 150 to over 2,000. But it’s the French victims who we focus on, showing our solidarity with them by declaring ‘Je suis Charlie’, and holding vigils in Trafalgar Square and elsewhere- while the African victims of violence have – certainly until the last day or so – been ignored. Even Nigeria‘s own President was keener to condemn the Paris attacks than those in his own country. How can this be right? Surely we should be mourning all victims equally?

    For a brief period it was fashionable to show concern for the victims of political extremism in Africa. Remember the ‘BringBackOurGirls’ hash tag when the militant Islamist organization Boko Haram kidnapped schoolgirls in Chibok in Nigeria in 2014? The interest however soon died away.

    As the media spotlight was shone elsewhere, Boko Haram continued to make major territorial gains killing thousands in the process. Today, as reported by RT, the group now controls an area of 52,000 square kilometers, the size of Slovakia.

    But while Islamic State and their territorial advances became front page news in 2014, the gains made by Boko Haram have, like the group’s victims, been ignored. Instead the focus is on the very small ‘threat’ terrorists pose to Europe, a threat which as I explained here our governments are doing their best to ‘big up’.

    You’ve probably got more chance of being killed by a lightning strike than by terrorists in Europe but the odds are greater in Africa.

    It’s certainly more dangerous going to church there than it is in Europe.

    Dozens of churches were attacked in Kenya and Tanzania in a wave of bombings in 2013. Two worshippers were killed and thirty injured in a bomb attack at the Roman Catholic Church in Arusha, Tanzania in May 2013. Imagine what a major story it would have been had it happened in Europe, but it was in East Africa, so you probably didn’t read about it.

    Cameroon is another African country which has more grounds to worry about terrorism than France. Only this week, there’s been a fierce battle between government forces and Boko Haram militants in the north of the country. “You will taste what has befallen Nigeria, Your troops cannot do anything to us,” Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau declared on video.

    In Uganda too, the terrorist threat is very real. In 2010 militants from the Somali-based al-Qaeda affiliate group al-Shabaab killed over 70 people in bomb attacks on venues which were showing the football World Cup final. In September 2013 the same group killed at least 67 people in a shopping mall in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

    It’s clear than in many African countries, ordinary civilians have more reasons to worry about being murdered by al-Qaeda type groups than we do in Europe. So why is there the excessive focus on the threat to ‘the West’?

    It’s partly about furthering the interests of our political elites. As I explained here, the so-called “war on terror” is being used by our governments as a pretext to restrict our age-old civil liberties and gain more control over our lives. They also want to ‘big up’ the terrorist threat at home to justify their interventionist foreign policies and their continued military presence in the oil-rich Middle East.

    And these individuals would like for you to believe they are about human rights, but when these terrorists acts take place in Africa the corporate owned media whose job is to programme the masses does not give it (1) months coverage like they do when these terrorists acts take place in the USA and Europe. What they are basically programming the masses that Euro-American and Europeans lives are of value and those of African descent we could care less. And like sheep the masses fall for it like zombies.

  4. the truth will set you free says: Terrorists Killed 2,000 People in Nigeria Last Week. So Why Doesn’t the World Care? 12 January 2015: The past week has been one of horror for France. After a three-day rampage in which terrorists killed 17 people both at the Charlie Hebdo offices and at a Jewish kosher supermarket, one fugitive still remains at large. An estimated 3.7 million French citizens took to the streets of Paris in a solidarity march as the attack and its aftermath continues to dominate international headlines.

    But thousands of miles away, another crisis went largely ignored. Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria committed a massacre of unbelievable proportions in Borno State. Over the period of a few days, the terrorist group killed more than 2,000 people in the town of Baga, as well as 16 neighboring towns and villages, burning entire communities to the ground. Amnesty International described it as the terror group’s “deadliest massacre” to date, and the Guardian reports that local defense groups said they gave up counting the bodies left lying on the streets.

    By every objective measure, Boko Haram’s vicious massacre in Nigeria dwarfs the tragedy in France, so far that the Nigeria bloodshed has been described as one of the worst terrorist attacks in modern history. There’s only one problem: In all likelihood, you probably didn’t hear about it until just now.

    Where is the international outcry for these non-Western and predominantly Muslim victims of terrorism? The terrorist attacks in Borno State and Paris unfolded over the same time frame, but the story in France generated more than 50 times more news stories worldwide.

    This silence is not accidental. There is a clear double standard when talking about Western vs. non-Western and Muslim vs. non-Muslim victims of terrorism. Terrorists attacks on the West, and against non-Muslims in particular, are sensationalized in the media while those afflicting non-Westerners and Muslims are normalized and treated as business as usual, generating limited public interest and, in turn, limited outcry from activists and institutions that could actually affect change.

    This discrepancy in coverage raises important questions about the way the media talks about terrorism — and whether the Western news outlets that so fiercely dissected the brutal Charle Hebdo massacre will ever see non-Western and Muslim victims of terrorism as “mournable.” And the result is telling: Reports about non-Western victims of terrorism are generally overlooked or ignored unless they fit particular narrative of freedom and civilization under assault from Islamic extremism.

  5. ID10T Error says:

    No good deed goes unpunished … clearly that is the case here – you can never please people. Even when you are trying to show respect, someone is always ready to kick you down. Wow Bermuda! You people should be ashamed of yourselves.

    If you would like to hold a vigil for any country then by all means organize one. Stop criticizing those that feel a call to action while you sit there a find ways to poke holes in their efforts.

    • the truth will set you free says:

      The fact is it is the corporate owned media has programmed the masses who to have sympathy for and who not to have sympathy for. And like zombies those who have been successfully programmed fall for it.

      Only when there is a mass murder in America and Europe there is a whole months coverage but when it takes place in Africa and the Middle East the corporate owned media who are mouthpieces for the military industrial complex speak about it for a couple of minutes. The last time I checked their lives are just as valuable as anyone else. And if you were really a citizen of the world then you would know that (2) of Americans allies Saudia Arabia who are allies of the USA behead their own citizens but the corporate owned media show pictures of individuals from ISIS getting ready to behead someone and there is all this outrage, but when Saudia Arabia does it to its own citizens nothing but crickets. This is the “human rights” “loving America for you.

      Another one of the USA’s allies is apartheid Israel who stole the Palestine’s land and who commit genocide against them, deny basic necessities to be imported for them and they are basically kept in an open air prison. And these murderers the Zionist Jews are Europeans who have no historical lineage to Palestine they are European Jews but what is new this is what the Europeans have been doing from the beginning of time. Therefore I suggest you do some research and turn off the tv because that is where the lies and propaganda are disseminated.

  6. Thinking says:

    That’s a low blow but I like that who cares about them in the right place at the right time

  7. Mike says:

    It’s sad (at the very least) that the Prayer Vigil went ahead yesterday, in the light of what happened in Orlando.

    A little sensitivity would have gone a long way.

    • Daylilly says:

      Mike. The Prayer Vigil was exactly what was needed. Most of the organizers were in church all day and only found out on the evening of the prayer vigil. The Service was stopped and specific, sincere prayers were prayed for the victims, their families, our government, marriages, children, repentance of clergy, and unity and sincerity within the churches. The prayer vigil nor preserve marriage has anything with perpetuating hate. Preserving Marriage is not perpetuating hate.

      The majority of the community stands in favor of human rights, no matter who the human is. Having a differing position on marriage does not mean anyone agrees with murder.

      • Say Whaat? says:

        Thank you!

      • Mike Hind says:

        “The prayer vigil nor preserve marriage has anything with perpetuating hate. Preserving Marriage is not perpetuating hate.”

        Another lie. This is absolutely what they are perpetuating.
        They use lies and misinformation and complete falsehoods to perpetuate and unfair and unjust denial of access to rights. This is hateful.

        “The majority of the community stands in favor of human rights, no matter who the human is. Having a differing position on marriage does not mean anyone agrees with murder.”
        It’s not about differing positions. It’s the fact that you think that YOUR position should be the ONLY position and will stoop to ANY low to keep that privilege.

        Marriage equality will in no way affect “traditional marriage”. At all.

        Yet you continue to lie about exactly that.

        Your lies and falsehoods and program of dishonest misinformation is what leads to horrific events like this.

      • What?? says:

        Then why was that not mentioned by even one of the Reverends who were interviewed at the event. Not one word! Not one mention! Nothing!!! And still nothing today from Preserve Marriage or any of those Reverends. Your words ring hollow.

    • Say Whaat? says:

      Your comment truly shows how little you understand prayer. You don’t like it, don’t believe in it and go your way. How dare you suggest that people stop praying!

      • Nightlilly says:

        James 2:17 “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

        Even the Bible understand that prayer means nothing without action

  8. Terry says:

    Rodney King was right.


  9. Mr.Speaker says:

    How about a prayer for Ghana and prayer for Wold Peace not just the ma’s shooting in Orlando. How about prayer for our own country Bermuda

    • Be Heard says:

      Please post details of when and where after you’ve organised it, and the community will show their support.

    • serengeti says:

      Go ahead and organize it. No one is stopping you.

  10. How About says:

    How about you either go or you don’t go? How about you do something besides commenting? How about how about how about. Fickle folk we are.

    • really says:

      Really why don’t all the folk on this thing that have a cause DO SOMETHING, rather than typing how hard done you are. Thank you to whomever organized tonight’s vigil, I will be attending.

  11. Rhonnda Oliver says:

    I suspect people pray about the horror that is going on in others places in the world. Honestly, I would find it odd if they didn’t.

    But what happened in Orlando is something that, effectively, happened across the street, not on the other side of the city, if you understand the analogy.

    That makes it more personal.

    I’d attend, but I’ll be working.

  12. Peace says:

    It seems a bit cold and insensitive to turn a vigil editorial into a political debate.

    • Say Whaat? says:

      The location made it political.

      • Anbu says:

        No it didnt lmao. Seriously? A memorial for the dead made it political. Lemme guess if the plp were still gov and someone suggested the same location, it wouldnt be political then right?

  13. Coffee says:

    Couldn’t make it … Didn’t make it .

    • Mike Hind says:

      No one missed you.

      • Coffee says:

        Good , Great !

      • shutthemdown says:

        To be honest Mike, YOU are one of the most hateful people who has anything to say on this issue.

        Mike Hind, you are the problem. you show so much hate towards anyone who doesnt agree with you and its because of you that people will feel good about voting no.

        You are nasty. and thats just how it is.

        I dont care about your issue but I atleast let you have your say..

        Again, what sane person want to get married anyway?

        • Mike Hind says:

          Nah. Not really.
          This is just you lashing out because you don’t actually have an answer to my simple questions.

          Not once have I been hateful (if I have, please feel free to post quotes or links… but you won’t, because you are lying) and I haven’t been nasty.

          It’s odd that you decided to lie about me, but didn’t say ANYTHING about the horrible, false things that others have said about gay people and marriage equality.

          I’m the nasty one for asking for a single reason we, as a country and as a society, should continue denying equal access to rights and privileges to our fellow Bermudians, but folks like Coffee, who post hateful lies – as he did yesterday, claiming that all of the victims were white – are worth defending.

          I don’t hate the people that don’t agree with me (though it seems that your hatred of me is allowing you to be about as dishonest as you could be…), I just would like to have a discussion with them. I’d like to debate them. I’d like to get to the bottom of this issue and find out WHY they think that they should be allowed to tell someone whether or not they can marry the person they love.

          As for “what sane person wants to get married anyway?”
          Lots of people. That’s the entire issue.

          Do you really not get what marriage is and the rights and privileges it affords to people?
          Is that why you don’t care about this issue?

          Oh, wait. You’re just throwing a tantrum because you don’t like it when people dare question folks you agree with. You aren’t interested in conversation. You OBVIOUSLY don’t care what I have to say, given that you very obviously haven’t read anything I’ve written, given your misrepresentation of the truth.

          You just want to attack someone with falsehoods and lies because you think you’re right, but are terrified you aren’t.

          Keep attacking people while hiding like a worm behind a fake name. It’s really brave of you.

          I’m guessing you won’t respond, or if you do, it’ll be some more bizarre gibberish like this one.

          See you.

        • Anbu says:

          Yet all his arguments have valid points. And yes judging by your name we all know that “you lot” will shut the island down if the vote doesnt go your way. Smh.

        • Thinking says:

          Yes mike is one selfish fake confused person big cry baby trying to get other people to get on the nasty ship hope it capsized

          • Mike Hind says:

            What nonsense is this that you’re posting?

            Are you letting your toddlers write this?

            “trying to get other people on the nasty ship”?

            Are you serious?

            And I am the one taking flack for not being respectful?


  14. Thinking says:

    Lol this sound personal