#BerlinForOrlando – Not giving in to fear

“In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another. We will not give in to fear.” – President Barack Obama

Nearly a week after the shooting in Orlando (assuming that you all know what happened there), Berlin has finally gotten itself together to hold a vigil for the victims. And in a beautiful and effective way, too, which of course attracted a lot of people – 6.1K according to the Facebook events page alone. We are only a week short of our move to Berlin but we knew that going was the least we could do for our brothers and sisters who had to meet this horrible misfortune.

Approaching Pariser Platz gave me goosebumps. It was awfully quiet, like when asked for a minute of silence, only it went on for a really long time. Candles were lit in a circle where people were holding signs with the names and faces of the murder victims.

On not giving in to fear

The front of the Brandenburg Gate is an open space. I couldn’t help but wonder how easy it would be to attack a group of people gathered in this very space. Perhaps the others had wondered about that, too, but this is exactly why we can’t give in to fear. Exactly the reason why we were all gathered there was to fight for freedom to express ourselves – this freedom that some are still so threatened by. So, yes, we could have gotten hurt. But like our brothers and sisters at PULSE that night, we would die fighting.

Berlin Pride is next month and I am sure we will be stronger than ever. In the midst of all the partying and glitter and rainbows, we shall be warriors.

My heart goes out to the friends and family of the 49 murdered and wish for fast recovery for the people injured by this brutal hate crime.

Rest in power.

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