Abidjan, June 27 (AIP) – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and Industrial Promotion Services West Africa-IPS (WA), announce an innovative public-private partnership using telemedicine in the fight against HIV / AIDS, with a view to enabling doctors in rural areas to communicate with those in urban areas to establish diagnoses and treat patients. This project, according to a press release, will focus on the prevention and treatment of patients with HIV, through the use of advanced technology involving computers connected to the internet. The entire project is estimated at 500,000 dollars, or 250 million FCFA and will target the community of cotton producers in Boundiali, …
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A week after the carnage perpetrated by Omar Mateen, 29, an American security agent who killed 49 people and injured 53 others, during an evening at the Pulse nightclub, Orlando (Florida) closes ranks and doesn’t do not forget. Still reeling from a massacre committed against a backdrop of hatred for homosexuals and an Islamist claim by this man of homosexuality who was probably repressed, tormented by his religious rigorism.
Just before taking action, Omar Mateen put his life insurance in the name of his wife, whose role in the preparation of this mass crime committed in the name of Daesh is still controversial.
In the gardens bordering Lake Eola in central Orlando, photos of the victims are lined up amidst candles that passers-by relight. “I do it so that we don’t forget that they were innocent victims. I’m neither gay nor lesbian, but whoever did this was targeting a dual community: gays and Hispanics. It’s the Holocaust by bullets here at home in Florida. He’s a monster, ”says Carilla DeLeon, an academic who studies Florida’s First Nations. In town, the star-spangled banner is at half mast on the poles alongside the rainbow flag, a symbol of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community. Everywhere, little knots with the six colors are hung. Trees, gutters, windows, mirrors. Everywhere, a slogan: “Orlando is united”.
Fundraising of 2 M €
At the open-air theater, on the shores of Lake Eola again, a religious rock group leads the crowd for “a night of prayers”. Baptist, Presbyterian and Lutheran churches have helped. Most of the victims were Hispanic (36 out of 49) and belonged to the Catholic community.
The local bishopric has drawn on its troops to find priests who speak fluent Spanish in order to support the suffering of families. “With us, when we cry, we do it in Spanish. The origin is taking over, “says Diana Bolivar, the energetic president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Florida. Charities are overwhelmed. More than 2 M € have already been raised by the Equality Florida fund. Not to mention private donations. In the restaurants of the historic center, this weekend, fundraisers were organized to meet the needs of employees of the Pulse, technically unemployed. The establishment was ravaged by the onslaught of police, who shot Omar Mateen. “Here, no work, no pay. So generosity must take its place, ”explains the manager of Mary’s, a hamburger restaurant set up in a former grain store. During a musical performance, customers gave more than $ 1,000 (€ 880). “And it will last as long as it takes,” says the manager, proudly showing a bucket in which the tickets pile up.
On the forecourt of Dr Phillips’ theater, the other place of improvised memory, a horde of bikers made a gigantic round around the photos of the victims. Everyone holding hands. “Hey guys, I’m counting on you, you will have to come every week of every month of every year,” shouts the leader.
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As for Parliament House, the largest gay club in Florida, also located in Orlando, it posted record attendance this weekend.
Orlando is a prosperous city, on a human scale (260,000 inhabitants) and growing thanks to the leisure industry. A city where insecurity, unemployment and racial tensions are less felt than elsewhere in the United States. On June 12, this model city turned into the unthinkable: the execution by a single shooter, Omar Mateen, of 49 people who were partying in a gay club. Release went to meet a population in shock, for several days, all over Orlando: members of the LGBT community, Latinos, Muslims … In order to understand their reactions, their fears and their hopes, five months before a presidential election crucial for the future of the country.
Calm seizes Thornton Park
Right in the city center, near the town hall, theaters and courthouse, Lake Eola is one of the many bodies of water that Orlando is dotted with and which gives it a unique appearance. Swans and ducks frolic there under the gaze of passers-by who strictly respect the prohibitions: “Don’t give palmipeds bread or popcorn.” In an open-air theater, whose shell-shaped scene is painted in turquoise, a large audience listens to hymns. Many raise their arms to the sky or hold hands, others are in tears. It’s a ceremony of worship, of worshiping God, five days after the Pulse massacre.
The Thornton Park district, which is always full on Friday evening with its bars and restaurants decorated with the rainbow banner, is “Much quieter than usual”, remarks Wanda Soto. This 49-year-old, petite and energetic woman has lived there for a long time. She is a hairdresser (she prefers to say a stylist) and works in the living room of her pretty bungalow, surrounded by greenery, as often in Thornton Park. The Pulse, she went there a few times, with her gay friends. “Monday, the day after the shooting, she says, I went to my gym class at the YMCA. In the locker room, TV was broadcasting CNN. We stayed on the screen for a long time. I have not heard a word of hatred or revenge. In fact, no one has said a word. You could only hear sobs. ” Wanda knew several of the victims, but she is also affected as a Puerto Rican: three-quarters of the victims were her compatriots. A million Puerto Ricans live in Florida, and Orlando is their capital: they represent 27% of the city’s population. “I arrived in 1993 with my husband and two young children, she explains. We managed a gas station in Puerto Rico and we had two robberies in no time. I wanted to raise my children in another environment. ” There were few Latinos in Orlando at the time. They arrived gradually, drawn to Disneyworld, the largest employer in Orange County. Thanks to boricuas (the other name of Puerto Ricans), who have an American passport, Disney has developed its strategy towards Latin Americans. “And in 1994, continues Wanda, the city hosted the Soccer World Cup, which boosted its notoriety and growth. ” For her, Orlando is the city that allowed her to raise her children in a serene climate. The eldest is finishing his studies in psychology in Puerto Rico, the youngest works at Universal Park, the most important after Disney.
Wanda witnessed racism: “I remember a sign, when I had just arrived, which said” Spics, go back home! ” [“rentrez chez vous, les espingouins”, ndlr] But it’s been over for a long time. ” She expresses her satisfaction in living in a clean and welcoming city. “I’m not going to assert that crime does not exist, but this neighborhood is quiet. I never close my car, and I only lock my door at night. ”
Daughter of a soldier “Who never fired a shot” (his father, a nurse, participated on the American side in the Korean and Vietnam wars), Wanda Soto is horrified by arms and is opposed to their free sale. The Pulse tragedy, she says, “Takes us back centuries”. But she is convinced that Orlando will get out of this ordeal “Stronger, more united, and more proud of its diversity”.
Tribute to Ana G. Méndez University
Thursday afternoon, commission Tony Ortiz, the mayor of 2e District of Orlando, could have accompanied Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden when they went to meditate in front of the improvised memorial in front of the Dr. Phillips Cultural Center. But he preferred to attend the tribute that Ana G. Méndez University paid to four of his students who were shot at by Omar Mateen. Four out of 1,400 students enrolled.
In the entrance hall of the university, their photos are placed on a table decorated with bouquets of flowers. In the room where the “Ecumenical ceremony”, the teachers find themselves, still in shock. The lessons have been over for a few days, the exam period has started. Of the four missing, one particularly marked the teachers: the Venezuelan Simon Carrillo Fernandez. “He was a born leader, his smile lit up the classroom”, remembers Rosana Medina, responsible for the introduction to student life, the first course that adult students receive – the university’s campus hosts many Spanish speakers seeking a higher qualification. “Simon was enrolled in business management, specifies the teacher. He attended evening classes once a week from 6 to 10 p.m. He worked at McDonald’s and often came in uniform. “
On the university benches, Simon Carrillo, 31, had met Oscar Aracena, 26, from the Dominican Republic. He had become his companion. They died together. The four victims all had the same profile: between 26 and 33 years old, salaried and eager to progress in their career by improving their English and their knowledge. For them, an American diploma meant better salary.
The Ana G. Méndez University campus is located in the 2e Orlando district, where Tony Ortiz has been elected and re-elected since 2008. As the hall fills, he explains how mobilized the city was after the tragedy: “We have created a reception structure to receive the families of the victims, the airlines offer them plane tickets, psychologists in charge of listening and emotional support work voluntarily …” Even if he is the only Puerto Rican among the six district mayors, Tony Ortiz insists on the universality of his approach: “In the face of such a drama, there are no longer any partisan lines, geographic origins, genres, religions or social classes. This attack tore a piece of our heart but we are more united and stronger than ever. ”
Opening the ceremony, Professor Antonio Sajid Lopez read a few lines from Luis Cernuda, a Spanish poet of García Lorca’s generation, forced into exile by his anti-Franco and homosexuality. Before Tony Ortiz, addressing the audience this time, concluded: “A man’s fist cannot knock down a brick wall. But his hands can build it. ”
American Legion veterans
Supported at the counter in room 19 of the American Legion, a veterans’ organization, Alfonzo Livingston talks about arms. Suddenly, in the middle of the conversation, the man suddenly grabbed our hand and glued it to the right side of his belt. “Do you feel it there?” Did you notice? ” asks this former Baltimore police officer. Under his large T-shirt, you can guess the contours of a metallic object. “A 40 caliber Glock pistol”, says this forties, shooting instructor certified by the NRA, the powerful American arms lobby.
For several minutes, Alfonzo Livingston has been trying to explain that the AR-15 rifle, used by the killer of the Pulse, is not “Neither an assault weapon nor an automatic weapon, contrary to what the media keeps repeating.”“AR-15, he continues, is a semi-automatic weapon, in other words incapable of firing in bursts. For each bullet, the shooter must squeeze the trigger. If one or more customers of the nightclub were armed, they could have responded and put the assailant in trouble “, assures the ex-policeman. Alfonzo Livingston is far from the only ardent defender of the Second Constitutional Amendment and the carrying of weapons at this club, home to veterans of the military and law enforcement.
Jim Lachut is 59, including nine years in the US Navy, and four skull tattoos on his body. Quickly, he wants to show us a photo montage that circulates on social networks. We see two post-terrorist images, one in Paris, the other in Orlando, accompanied by this legend: “When France is attacked, it attacks terrorists. When America is attacked, it attacks our rights. “ Implied in the right to carry a weapon which certain elected representatives, in particular democrats, wish to slightly restrict.
When asked about the Pulse tragedy, very few regulars of the American Legion mentioned the LGBT community, as if the victims’ sexual orientation was irrelevant. On the other hand, all are pouring out the threat of Islamist terrorism and the need, in their eyes, for a strong response. A response embodied, for many, by the Republican Donald Trump. “If elected, Donald Trump will be respected around the world. He is strong and he says what he thinks “, said Jim, who favored the billionaire’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. “I am sorry for the Syrian refugees but we only have to protect them in their own country”, said the former marine. A woman, Cindy, agrees: “I don’t like targeting an entire community, but we have to build this wall and prevent Muslims from returning. We no longer know today who is entering our country. ” She is 54 years old, her grandfather served during the Second World War and in Korea, her brother in Vietnam.
Call for courage at Al-Rahman mosque
At the Al-Rahman Mosque. “This flag is proof that we are as American as Trump”, said the imam. (Photo DR)
Night has just fallen on Orlando. On this Ramadan evening, the faithful of the Al-Rahman mosque, located in the east of the city, perform the prayer of thehere, the last of the day. A few minutes pass. It is a little after 10pm. In the room, refreshed by ceiling fans, a hundred men and thirty women are getting ready before going home. Imam Muhammad Musri, who heads the mosque and presides over the Islamic Society of Central Florida, wants to address them first. “What happened in this nightclub has nothing to do with Islam, he begins. We know who we are, we are not violent people, but in the current context, perception is unfortunately more important than reality. ” Fueled by Donald Trump and a fringe of the Republican Party, this “perception” returns to the image of a threatening Islam, incompatible with American values. “We have to stand up and show our pride in being Muslims. We have nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of, ” adds the religious, who calls on each of the faithful to give a good image of Islam. “Be good to your neighbors, your colleges, your employees, you will help dispel fears and hatred.”
However, the imam recognizes that “It takes courage” when the threat of violence hangs over the Muslim community. After the attacks of November 13 and the attack on San Bernardino, carried out in early December by a radicalized couple claiming to be ISIS, Islamophobic crimes were multiplied by three in the United States, according to a study by the University of California. In the days following the Pulse shooting, the Islamic Society of Central Florida received “Hundreds of messages of insults and threats”, says Imam Musri. “It is difficult for families who have lost a loved one, but it is also difficult for us. On the evening of the drama, there was hardly anyone at the mosque. People were afraid “, explains Annela Mohammed. Fear, this mother says she feels it every day: “Whenever I take my son to school, I wonder if a fool is going to roll me over just because I’m wearing the veil.”
On the ocher facade of the mosque, two huge American flags are hung. Hassan, in his forties, sees it as an essential symbol: “This flag is proof that we are as American as anyone, starting with Donald Trump and his children.” With less than five months to go to the presidential election, the Republican candidate and his proposals – such as that of monitoring the mosques – are obviously in everyone’s heads. Exasperated, Imam Musri decided to launch the response. On his initiative, a national march of American Muslims will be held in Washington on July 23, the day after the Republican convention which must officially nominate Donald Trump as candidate. Whatever the outcome of the November election, Annela Mohammed is worried about the consequences of the Trump campaign. “It brings out the negative side of people, she regrets, referring to the property magnate’s anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric. Even if he is not elected president, these feelings that he fuels will continue. “
Relatives at the Kissimmee funeral home
Relatives of Eric Ivan Ortiz Rivera, one of Omar Mateen’s 49 victims, pay tribute to him at the Kissimmee funeral home on June 16. (Photo D. Goldman. AP)
Luis Rivera and his companion parked their car in the small parking lot of the funeral home. On the side of the highway, forty minutes from downtown Orlando, the Funeraria San Juan, in the town of Kissimmee, hosted funeral evenings of victims of the shooting for several evenings in a row. On Thursday, his relatives came to Eric Ivan Ortiz Rivera to say goodbye. The back and forth is permanent between the parking lot and the big room where the body is exposed. Gray suit, white shirt and red tie. The coffin will soon be closed. Dressed in black, Luis and his boyfriend approach, hold tight by the waist. After a few minutes, they walk away, their eyes red. “I lost five close friends on Sunday and I knew a dozen other victims. Tonight is my third death vigil. I have another friend in a coma. This afternoon, I was told that an injured person was dead. I’m afraid it’s him. “ When asked what the Pulse meant to him, Luis Rivera, in his thirties, sighed. “It is thirteen years of my life. The Latin evening on Saturday was unique. We felt safe there. We were ourselves. I’m talking about gays but there were also a lot of straight guys. And they too were more themselves. ” He was not at Pulse on the night of Saturday to Sunday. “I wanted to, but we were invited to a wedding in Tampa, and my boyfriend insisted on going. I gave in. “
The young man takes a tissue and dabs his eyes. Around him, you only hear Spanish. Eric Ivan Ortiz Rivera had arrived from Puerto Rico five years ago. In 2015, he married his companion, who survived the massacre: he left the club shortly before the shooter’s arrival. Several people wear a T-shirt with a photo of the deceased and the inscription: “March 25, 1980 – June 12, 2016”. Man approaches Luis and hugs him saying “Otro mas”. One more. The next day, they will meet again at the cremation of Luis Conde and Juan Rivera Velazquez, who ran a hair salon and were soon to get married.
Luis Rivera is also a hairdresser. Born in Puerto Rico, he returns there regularly. “I am fortunate to have a family that accepts me as I am, even if it was not easy.” He notes that the day before, an important security service was present, while only one policeman is on duty at the Funeraria San Juan. He pursues : “Many friends have not come, they are afraid. Homophobic religious fanatics have called for the disruption of vigils and funeral ceremonies. ” For the young hairdresser, Orlando’s gay life will never be the same again. “The frequentation of clubs and bars will drop, we will fold in on ourselves and party in the apartments.” The owners of the Pulse have announced their intention to reopen the club, but Luis cannot imagine setting foot there again: “Dance where my friends were killed?” It’s unthinkable. I will never go back. ” The following day, the death of victim number 50 was denied. And Luis told us by text that his injured friend had “Open your eyes”.
Microphone open at Austin’s Coffee
On a wooden table, at the back of Austin’s Coffee, hangs a small beige notebook. A vintage microphone drawn in black ink adorns the cover, surmounted by these words: “I already have a weapon of choice” (“I already have a weapon of choice”). This alternative café in Winter Park, a small residential town north of Orlando, serves vegan cookies, organic coffee and Jamaican beer. And every Wednesday, those who wish to deliver their words and their thoughts during an evening of poetry and open microphone. On June 15, three days after the attack, the place was packed. Many Pulse victims had their habits here.
“After the shooting, I thought about canceling the event. It was too fresh in my head, says evening host Stephen Moonsammy. But after chatting with a friend, I realized that we should celebrate the lives of the victims by coming together, laughing and loving each other as much as possible. “ On the small podium against the cafe window, the speakers follow one another. They all evoke, in their own way, with emotion, sadness or anger, the drama that strikes their city.
Kira, doll face and piercing green eyes, approaches the microphone. With her throat tied, she tells the first thing that crossed her mind when she learned of the killing: “I told myself that some parents were going to learn at the same time the death of their child and his true sexuality. They will realize that they never really knew their child and that by now it is too late. “ Kira knows what she is talking about. 21-year-old daughter of a US Army officer who passed through Iraq and Afghanistan defines herself as “Queer and pansexual”, an identity that his parents, religious and conservative, ignore. “After this tragedy, I hope to find the strength to raise the subject with them, says Kira. Because I too could have died on this dance floor. “
Elexsa Perello, she wrote an ode to Orlando called A Poem for My City (“A poem for my city”). Powerful voice, sometimes on the verge of tears, this 20-year-old student portrays “A city where I was taught that love is love and that diversity is magnificent”. A town “Where my gay friends had shelters, until pieces of heart were snatched from them.” The long-haired, red-haired Hispanic concludes with a rage at the gun lobby, whose main argument is to reiterate that gunmen, not guns, are responsible for the daily killings in the United States. “I grew up in Orlando where 49 souls have disappeared. But guns don’t kill people, do they? People kill people. False. People with guns kill people. And hate-filled people have access to it every day. ”
It feels like your skin has been pulled off your body. With a single crack. From the soles of the feet to the skull. As if there was no longer any protective layer. As if everything were bare and sore. Delivered to whatever may come. This pain about one’s own defenselessness is perhaps the bitterest besides the grief that has moved in since the Orlando massacre and that will no longer go away. If there is one thing that people who look different, love differently or desire differently than the normative majority, if lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, intersexual or queer people have something in common, then it is the experience of vulnerability.
As always unique and singular as individuals, what connects queer people collectively is not least this feeling of vulnerability: still being looked at with condescending looks when we walk hand in hand or kiss each other on the street, still with swear words to be considered and threatened in the school yard or in the subway or on the net, to still have to fight against laws that categorize or criminalize us as “sick”, to still have to justify why we may not be the same, but still It is equally important why we love and encourage children, like other families, to still run the risk of being attacked and beaten up in broad daylight or at night. “Gay places are haunted again and again by the history of this violence”, writes the French philosopher Didier Eribon in his most recent book “Return to Reims” https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/. “Every avenue, every park bench, everyone A hidden corner carries the past, present and future of such attacks. ” All because there is this hatred for the way we love or live. Because there is this hatred of our happiness that we don’t want to be ashamed of. Nothing has changed about that just because some of us can become mayors or environment ministers or pop stars.
Clubs like the “Pulse” were places where you didn’t have to be afraid
That’s why clubs like Pulse in Orlando are not just clubs. They are places where nobody needs to be afraid. They are places where everyone can feel right – and above all, safe. It’s the hours and nights in clubs like Pulse when you can breathe a sigh of relief, when it finally feels free and carefree because there is nothing special than who or how we want to love. Here everyone can be what they want to be and with whom: all fantasies, all bodies, every skin color, every age, every belief can be shown here. The differences that usually count, outside or on paper, are not relevant in these places. For the Latinos and Latinas who met in Orlando at Pulse last weekend for the “Latino Night”, what is discussed elsewhere did not matter: whether they speak English or Spanish, whether they have American documents or not, whether it is Donald Trump gives a presidential candidate who wants to build a wall on the border between Mexico and the United States.
The Orlando assassin not only killed 49 people and injured 53 that night, he not only took away loved ones, children and parents from relatives. Rather, with his murderous act he also met this trust, that in places like these he was finally lifted, that he was finally safe from exclusion and violence. This skin, which promised some protection, is torn. Below is sheer horror – and of course the defiant and courageous rebellion against one’s own fear.
The motive of the mass murderer is clear: hatred of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, intersexuals – and everything that is marked as different. Whether this hatred was still seeking legitimation for violence in the jihadist ideology of IS or whether the hatred was enough in itself – that primarily plays a role for those who want to instrumentalize this crime for their political goals. It is a familiar and tasteless spectacle how homosexuals are mainly perceived and defended as people with rights when they let themselves be used as pawns in the hostile campaign against Muslims. Then all of a sudden gays and lesbians are declared figureheads for the open and tolerant society – which otherwise still refuses that homosexual couples are allowed to adopt children because some “gut feeling” opposes it. It is not surprising that the IS jubilantly ascribes the Orlando massacre to itself when you consider the inhuman brutality with which they torture and execute queer people in their area. Whether the IS really commissioned the attack or even had a connection to the murderer seems to be questionable, after all that is known. But that is no longer even necessary for the strategy of the IS mafia.
Even if the Orlando assassination attempt was carried out by a single perpetrator, he was not a single perpetrator. Because hatred or self-hatred is not individual. Both need ideological templates in which he pours himself out. If it is true that the murderer was a regular guest at Pulse before, if it is true that he had at least homoerotic tendencies, then the hatred is probably also combined with the shame. However, the idea that someone should be ashamed just because he or she loves and desires differently than a religious or ideological canon dictates, is something that nobody develops alone. Shame is passed on in families, in Muslim or Evangelical or Catholic communities, it is written down in school books and in laws. Responsibility for an attack like the Orlando one cannot be delegated to terrorist networks or individual criminal or pathological perpetrators. That would be too easy. The honest, self-critical argument about the terrible effects of the prescribed shame must begin in the families, in the schools, in the religious institutions and in the parliaments.
“The anger discharges on those who stand out without protection,” says Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno in the “Dialectic of Enlightenment”, and so the societies that really want to be open must not become accomplices of pseudo-religious fanatics want to finally extend the legal protection that human rights and the Basic Law promise to include lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people. Not legally almost the same, we want to be the same.
Bouna, June 16 (AIP) – The Vonkoro ferry (Boukani region, North-East) used to cross the Black Volta river which acts as the natural border between Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana has been defective for months , learned the AIP on Wednesday. “This tank requires rehabilitation and maintenance operations. It is pierced in places and it is with a vacuum cleaner that we evacuate the water that enters the hold. In addition, it is using a pinnace attached to the ferry that we make the various crossings ”, explained its manager, Zinan Kipaud Adou. He indicated that this palliative solution involves many dangers for the passengers and appeals to the administrative and political authorities for the rehabilitation of the machine. This…
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Several thousand New Yorkers gathered outside the Stonewall Inn to show their support. And to say that they are not afraid.
The reading of the names of the Orlando victims ends. In the crowd, moved, we see a few tears that flow, we embrace and we comfort each other. The wind, which rose at the beginning of the evening, seems to have given a moment of respite to the candles which hoisted themselves above the heads among the rainbow flags and the signs of homage to the 50 killed.
As in other American cities, thousands of New Yorkers gathered on Monday in the narrow streets around the Stonewall Inn, a bar symbol of the LGBT fight in the United States, to proclaim loud and clear “We are Orlando ”. Trans, gay, lesbian, queer, straight, young and old: some had come with a bouquet of flowers to drop in front of the memorial that stood in the small park across from Stonewall. Others with pieces of chalk to write the names of the victims and their ages on the ground. Leandro Rodriguez had come with the photos of two victims.
I am from Puerto Rico. like the bulk of the victims in Orlando. On Sunday, we walked in the annual New York City Puerto Ricans Parade and were celebrated for who we were. But this tragedy has shown us that there are still people who hate us.
Throughout Monday, messages of mobilization and support from American LGBT associations multiplied. Calls for vigilance too, as the annual Pride Month festivities (Pride Month) are in full swing in several major American cities. The organizers of several marches have announced that security will be increased.
We made a lot of progress to create safe spaces for LGBT people, then this slaughter happened and it feels like starting from scratch, regrets Luis, a forty-something who came with two other friends to drop a candle. I’m not afraid, but today I’m confused, adds Peter, a 27-year-old New Yorker. I am comforted by the expressions of love, but the spills of hate on the web worry me too. He attacked our sanctuary. Gay bars are places where we feel safe, says Dick Jefferson, who says he has been a victim of homophobic violence in the past. But it made us stronger. Many friends have taken to the streets tonight. Hopefully New York Gay Pride will be safe.
Several association leaders and politicians came to address the crowd. Among them, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, who called for the 2016 New York Gay Pride Parade to be “the biggest in history” on June 26. The mayor of New York and open supporter of Hillary Clinton, Bill de Blasio, attacked political figures who “sow hatred”. Allusion to Donald Trump, who was trying just hours after the tragedy to recover it for election purposes. After almost two hours, the compact crowd dispersed under the eyes of the many police officers mobilized for the occasion. Hugo, a young Mexican, made a promise to himself at that time:
Usually, I am a Gay Pride spectator. This year, I will participate, walk in the procession. It has a different meaning today.
Cit started with a good intention. After a first generic tweet posted Sunday – bound for “American people” as a whole – the President of the French Republic added, Monday, June 13 at 3:41 p.m., another text in which the homophobic dimension of the Orlando tragedy appeared.
Unfortunately, if the motivations were laudable, the mention “Choose your sexual orientation” twitched, until the tweet was withdrawn and rephrased, as if nothing had happened. Proof that French politicians are still very uncomfortable when it comes to discussing homosexuality and its problems. A few minutes after the publication of the first tweet, the indignant responses to the Head of State, and the outraged reactions mentioning his blunder, began to rain.
@fhollande you don’t choose your sexual orientation! We may choose to live it … if our environment leaves us the chx.
– Pro_crastine (@Margareth Teacher)
. @ fhollande You can’t be so awkward … Cowardly #LGBTs killed for who they were, not for their “choices”. #Homophobia
– nicogougain (@Nicolas Gougain)
Mdr this tweet is like the five-year term of Holland: it starts with a good intention and it ends in disaster en https://t.co/xQVmNUFRip
— Julien_lgr (@McDreary)
You could have warned me that you could choose your sexual orientation, I would have asked to benefit from three months of free trial.
— IanMaddison (@IAN)
On the media side, Yagg, the website for the LGBT community, was one of the first to react, while the blunder was already leaving Twitter to migrate to other social networks and make a living, taking on an unprecedented scale. But at 5:12 p.m., the first text was deleted (the page is now not found), and a new tweet written, in front of the outcry.
The latter replaced “The freedom to choose one’s sexual orientation” by “The freedom to live your sexual orientation”. Note: in the haste, the term “Appalling” disappeared from the second version, François Hollande having preferred to keep the verb ” to choose “ attached to ” way of life “, in this less controversial formulation.
But if a tweet can be deleted, the words it uses, filmed by France Télévisions, remain. We find the part of the offending sentence. And if some users thank Mr. Holland for the update, the majority do not forget, and, keeping traces of any errors, remind him of his clumsiness, even after the deletion of the first tweet. Is that, as The world As noted on Monday, words take on special importance in such circumstances. You might as well be precise, especially when you are the President of the Republic.
The second is the correct one, thank you. #lesmotsontunsens https://t.co/BGQUORJXvc
– jgsanti (@ Jean-Guillaume Santi)
Other “official” reactions contested
Other “official” accounts have reacted with varying degrees of opportunism and cynicism to the Pulse massacre. Like Christine Boutin, Robert Ménard, La Manif pour tous, or, abroad, the Australian Prime Minister. All known for their usual positions against “gay culture”, marriage, or the rights of the LGBTQI community (“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex”, in original version). This time they wanted to show their support, angering many internet users.
Christine Boutin, sentenced in 2015 for “Public provocation to hatred or violence” towards homosexuals, tweeted a compassionate message:
Horror in #Orlando: compassion for the victims, the injured and their families. This world is becoming barbaric.
— christineboutin (@christine Boutinن)
The same unifying story for the association La Manif pour tous, whose mobilization against the opening of marriage to homosexual couples, in 2013, had led to a number of homophobic slippages:
Huge sorrow for the victims and bereaved families. Nausea in the face of hatred and violence. #Orlando
– LaManifPourTous (@La Manif Pour Tous ن)
Abroad, and to return to a level of protocol equivalent to that of the French President, François Hollande, the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, caused an outcry by tweeting his obligatory message of condolence. The reason ? The deliberate forgetting of the homophobic motive for the killing, and his repeated reluctance to open marriage to same-sex couples in Australia – while he was officially in favor, during his “putsch” against Tony Abbott, in September 2015.
All Australians stand with the people of the United States today, against terror and against hate. https://t.co/iu0mAssKqb
Anderson Cooper wants to tell a different story. Unlike what most of the media are saying these days. He wants to tell a story without giving the name of the perpetrator, without showing a picture of him. Cooper doesn’t ask who the man was who killed at least 49 people and partially injured 53 people. Neither does he ask about his surroundings or about the man’s personal beliefs.
He only wants to give a name to those who wanted to celebrate, dance and be happy that evening, but instead gave their lives.
Cooper, 59, is a well-known CNN journalist. In his report, he initially looks like a typical reporter, in the background you can see the blue lights of a patrol car and a police barrier. Cooper tries to put into words what happened at the Pulse Club in Orlando on Sunday.
“They are more than just a list of names. They are people who loved and were loved. They were people with family, friends and dreams,” said Cooper.
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He speaks in a brittle voice, he has to stop several times. It takes more than six minutes to go through the list of names of all 49 victims. They were young people, some of them less than twenty years old. They were fathers, heterosexual but also homosexual couples. It was a mother of eleven children who wanted to celebrate with her son.
A name and a sentence are not enough to do justice to the stories of the victims. Not much is known about many more. But Cooper’s report shows that a name and a sentence can turn individuals into mere victims:
Stanley Almodovar III., 23, published a video of himself shortly before the shootout, which shows him walking towards the club laughing and singing. Eddie Justice, a 30-year-old accountant, wrote a message to his mother during the massacre: “Mom, I love you.” Juan Guerrero, a 22-year-old student from Florida, didn’t come to his family until the beginning of the year. He died with his 32-year-old friend Christopher Leinonen. During the night, his mother drove to the crime scene and explained how proud she was of her son, who always campaigned for homosexuals and even received a prize for it. Amanda Alvear, 25, was recording a video for the social media platform Snapchat when the first shots were fired. Then the video stops. She was in the club with a friend, the 26-year-old student of literature. Mercedez Flores. Joel Paniagua, 32, grew up in Mexico and has lived in Florida for less than a year. He had moved to Florida to earn money as a designer to send his family to Mexico.
Peter Gonzalez-Cruz, 22, nickname Ommy, visited the club with his best friend, Gilberto Menendez, a 25 year old student. Anthony Disla, 25, born in Puerto Rico, worked as a drag queen. Jean Perez, 35, also born in Puerto Rico, worked in a perfume shop. There he met his 37-year-old friend ten years ago Luis Wilson-Leon know. Akyra Monet Murray, 18, is the youngest victim of the massacre. She recently graduated from high school and wanted to start studying. Luis Vielma, 22, worked for the Harry Potter world of an amusement park in Orlando.
Jason Josaphat, 19, is the second youngest victim of the massacre. When he heard the first gunshots, he called his mother and spoke to her. Miguel Honorato, 30, worked as a manager of a Mexican restaurant. He was married with three children. Kimberly Morris, 37, was a bouncer at the Pulse Club and just moved from Hawaii to Florida a few months ago. Brenda Marquez McCool, 49, was a mother of eleven children and, as is so often the case, spent the evening with her son in Pulse. The 21-year-old survived. Paul Henry, 41, came from Chicago and had two children. Most of all, according to his partner Francisco Hernandez, he will miss Henry’s laugh. Cory Connell, 21, was a student at Valencia College in Orlando and wanted to be a fireman.
Luis Ocasio-Capo, 20, was a dancer and collaborator at Starbucks. Eric Ortiz-Rivera, 36, was married and lived in Orlando. Darryl Burt II., 29, worked at Keizer University in Florida. Deonka Drayton, 32, nickname Dee Dee, was a bartender at the Pulse Club. over Alejandro Martinez, 21, is little known. His cell phone is said to have been one of those who rang the doorbell during the identification process. Franky Velazquez was a 50 year old dancer. Martin Torres, 33, came from Puerto Rico and studied. Xavier Rosade, 35, was the father of a son. Oscar Aracena-Montero, 26, had just returned from vacationing in Canada before visiting Pulse. He died with his friend Simon Adrian Fernandez, 31. Edward Sotomayor, 34, worked for a travel agency for gays and lesbians.
Enrique Rios, 25, attended a nursing school and worked as a social worker. He was visiting Brooklyn from Brooklyn. Yilmary Solvian, 24, was originally from Puerto Rico but lived in Orlando. She was married, had two little sons, and was with the 24-year-old that evening Jonathan Vega and her brother-in-law William Borges at the Pulse Club. Borges was the only one of the three to survive the massacre. Geraldo Ortiz-Jimenez was the last victim identified, he was 25 years old. Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25, was a hotel employee.
Jerald Wright, 31, worked at Disney World. Leroy fernandez, 25, worked for a leasing company and loved to sing him Adele songs at his office. Tevin Crosby, 25, was a manager from Michigan. Angel Candelario-Padro, 28, had recently moved to Orlando because he had started a new job as a technician there. Jean Rodriguez, 27, was a manager and had only bought a house a month and a half ago. He wanted to offer his mother a nice home with the house. Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40, worked as a seller at Gucci. Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33, worked as a singer in a cover band and performed in another club on the evening of the massacre before going into the pulse. Rodolfo Aayala-Aayala, 33, was a Puerto Rican and worked for a blood donation organization.
Frank Hernandez, 27, worked in a Calvin Klein store. After his death, his sister wrote about him that he had been a loving brother. Christopher Josephs Sanfeliz, 24, was an employee of a bank. Antonio Davon Brown, 29, was a lieutenant in the US Army. Luis Conde, 39, was a Puerto Rican and spent the evening with his 37-year-old partner Juan Velazquezwho was also killed.
On the night of June 12, the United States was the victim of a terrible terrorist attack. More than fifty people lost their lives in a club in the city of Orlando after an individual opened fire. A large part of the victims were linked to the LGBT community (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual). As a sign of homage, countries around the world have dressed their bridges and monuments in the colors of the “rainbow flag” (literally the rainbow flag). Back on the origin of this emblem.
It was in 1978, during the Gay and Lesbian parade in San Francisco, that several demonstrators displayed the “rainbow flag” for the first time. If originally eight colors (red, pink, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue and purple) adorned the fabric, today the flag has only six.
The rainbow flag, a symbol of the LGBT community, was drawn by hand by an American graphic designer by the name of Gilbert Baker in 1978, at the time 27 years old. The origin of the flag remains unclear. Some believe that the young graphic designer was inspired by the famous “flag of races”, used on American campuses in the 1960s.
Other exegetes see it as a reference to the famous song Over the rainbow, sung by Judy Garland in the film The Wizard of Oz. However, there is one point of view: the different colors of the flag represent the diversity of sexual orientations.
Each color has a meaning: red corresponds to life and healing. The orange represents health and pride. Yellow, meanwhile, symbolizes light. Green corresponds to nature. Blue goes with serenity and harmony while purple indicates spirit.
Since 1978, the flag has evolved. The pink color disappeared due to an industrial constraint. It was too complicated to reproduce. While the turquoise was removed after the death of Harvey Milk, in order to be able to divide the flag in two equal parts so that it can be displayed on both sides of the street.
Over the years, this flag has become a standard, a universal symbol that sends a strong message: the freedom to love.