Thousands take to Paris streets to honour Orlando shooting victims

Paris, FranceUpdated: Jul 02, 2016, 05:05 PM IST
main img
Mourners gather outside of the iconic New York City gay and lesbian bar the Stonewall Inn to light candles,lay flowers and grieve for those killed in Orlando on June 12, 2016 in New York. Photograph:(Reuters)

Thousands of people marched in the streets of Paris today to celebrate sexual diversity and remember the victims of the deadly shooting at an Orlando gay night-club.

The annual parade was held under tight security as the French capital hosted some of the matches in the month-long Euro 2016 soccer tournament. It came in the wake of the November 2015 Islamic State attacks where 130 people were killed.

The route of Saturday's parade had been shortened and was a week late to avoid clashing with a soccer match between Northern Ireland and Wales at the Parc des Princes stadium in the city.

Despite the security concerns, those who took part in the parade, like Patrice, said they would never let fear rule.

"Always a bit (afraid), but it will not make me change my mind. I have been attending (the parade) for about 10 years and I do not want to give it up. Because if I do, they (Islamic State) have won, and I do not want them to win," he said.

The parade paid tribute to the 49 victims of the June 12 shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub - the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.