JACKSON CHEN | A rainbow banner with messages of love, support, and condolences embraces Brooklyn Borough Hall as local residents, community groups, and elected officials came together in a call for action after the tragic shooting in Orlando.
“We needed a real and significant way of saying we feel the pain of the people of Orlando, Florida,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said at a June 24 press conference. “People needed a way to say how do we heal from this in a very significant manner.”
The more-than-800-foot banner that’s been signed by thousands will drape Borough Hall until the end of month, before parts of are shipped off to Orlando and others to Washington, DC as a physical manifestation of the call for change.
“The LGBT-plus community has been wrought by these events, but not broken,” Debbie Brennan, the board president of the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, said. “We are saddened, but we are not without hope. Our hearts are heavy, but they are not without love.”
Brennan joined Adams, City Councilmember Laurie Cumbo, New Yorkers against Gun Violence, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in demanding a nationwide ban on assault weapons, like the AR-15 that was used by Omar Mateen on June 12.
“It is our right, our responsibility to make sure this is our defining moment as citizens of the United States of America,” Cumbo said. “The world is looking at us to see how we are going to address this very serious situation in our community.”
Surrounded by the rainbow embrace of heartfelt messages, Adams and his entourage against hate made clear how Brooklyn felt about the tragedy: “Love conquers all and love will stand tall.”