University Avenue was closed in both directions as the community marched in remembrance of those lost in Orlando
Although it is too early to tell the official numbers, it appeared thousands of people descended upon University Street in San Diego last night to honor the 49 victims, and 53 wounded in the Orlando massacre.
Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego LGBT Community Center, Dr. Delores Jacobs started off the night with a message about the cost of terrorism, “It’s a new moment of grief unimaginable added to so many wounds and losses. It’s a moment that will go into our history with just one awful dreaded word to capture all of the horror, Orlando.”
Mayor Kevin Faulconer took to the podium after Dr. Jacobs and recalled the many times he had stood on that very stage to celebrate milestones in the LGBT community, and although the rally was a solemn occasion, he said that the amount of people who turned out sends a big message, “We will not give in to fear.”
Activist Nicole Murray-Ramirez gave a rousing speech telling the audience that the LGBT global community has always been attacked and terrorized, but through it all nobody has never been able to kill the soul or spirit of LGBT people.
He also offered a hand of friendship to Muslim Americans.
Murray-Ramirez got the biggest laugh of the night, after he sent a special message to Donald Trump “With all due respect to Donald Trump, it’s time for you to shut the f**k up!”
Councilmember Todd Gloria then addressed the crowd, applauding the San Diego Police Department for their hard work in keeping the city safe.
After the addresses, thousands made their way to Pride Circle armed with signs reading “Light Up The Love,” and “We Can End Gun Violence.” One rally member held a sign with the names of the people killed at Pulse.
The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus treated marchers to a heartwrenching version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” beneath the Pride flag, bringing many to tears.
University Avenue was cut off to traffic in both directions for blocks as the massive march continued from Pride Circle to Rich’s nightclub at dusk where the SDGMC sang “Over the Rainbow,” “Imagine” and “Brothers Sing On.”
Local artist Danielle LoPresti sang "No More No Less," beneath the overcast sky and community activists read the names of the Pulse victims.
As the rally came to an end Ryan Bedrosian of Rich’s reminded everybody to stay strong, remember those affected by the tragedy at Pulse, but not allow fear to keep them from coming out to Hillcrest.
*Correction: it was University Avenue, not Washington Street as originally reported, on which marchers took route.