Rainbow banner, inscribed with messages of hope, wraps Brooklyn Borough Hall
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
From Brooklyn to Orlando with love
BROOKLYN – (June 26) – As a crowd on Joralemon Street applauded, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams climbed a ladder on Friday to attach the final segment of a massive rainbow banner which wraps completely around Borough Hall.
The banner, inscribed over the last week by people across Brooklyn, is a heartfelt message to the victims and survivors of the Orlando nightclub massacre on June 12, in which 49 people were killed and another 53 people were wounded.
“We are together; Love is never wrong,” one person wrote. “I am praying for you,” wrote another.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams climbed a ladder on Friday to attach the final segment of the rainbow banner.
“This is by far one of the most impactful things that I have done while borough president,” Adams said.
“It’s a real and significant way of saying that we feel the pain of the people of Orlando, Florida,” he added. “When someone goes in and takes the life of innocent people because of their decision to love, Brooklyn must lead the way to say, ‘We will not surrender to hate, we will not surrender to bigotry, we will not surrender the forward mobility we have accomplished about allowing people to love who they want to love.’”
Adams remembered the two Brooklyn-related victims of the terror attack – resident Enrique Rios and native Brenda Lee Marquez McCool — and said officials in Washington were “standing in the way” of progress on gun control.
Adams said the banner is one of the most impactful things he has done as borough president.
More than 800 feet of the red, orange yellow, green, blue, and purple fabric will remain wrapped around Brooklyn Borough Hall through the end of June. Following that, Adams’ office is considering the best way to use the banner as a tool for healing and advocacy, his spokesperson said.
Gun control advocates, LGBTQ+ leaders and elected officials spoke about the importance of fighting gun violence and hate crimes.
Debbie Brennan, chair of Brooklyn Community Pride Center, said, “Today we stand in solidarity with the family members and communities of Orlando, Florida, who have lost their beloved partners, spouses, , children, parents, siblings and neighbors in one of the most senseless and brutal acts of hatred and cowardliness in our time.”
Despite the violence in the world, Brennan thanked “each and every one of you, straight or gay, transgender or not, who love us for who we are.”
Leah Gunn Barrett, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, said that assault weapons need to be taken off the streets.
“The gun lobby says that [assault rifles’] features are cosmetic. Nothing can be further from the truth,” she said. “Every single one of those features contributes to the excessive lethality of these weapons of war.”
Councilmember Laurie Cumbo said, “It is important that we raise up our voices to all – from Brooklyn to Orlando to Chicago … it is critical that we share and begin to come together as a unified country.”
“We must take some action, and disarm hate,” said Kim Russell, of the Brady Campaign. “What happened in Orlando is horrendous, but what is worse is it can and will happen again if we remain silent.”
Russel told the crowd that in 1999 in Atlanta, she was shot in a robbery and watched her friend die. A 17-year-old was convicted, and will be out of jail in a couple of years, she said.
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