LA Pride March Opens with Solidarity and Sorrow After Man Apprehended with Explosives

“We are Pulse, we are Orlando.”

50 candles were lit in West Hollywood at the LA Pride event today in memory of the victims of the Orlando shooting.Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/ZUMA Press

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The annual LA PRIDE parade kicked off on Sunday as scheduled, featuring colorful displays of solidarity—and sorrow—after the deadliest mass shooting in US history targeted a gay club in Orlando overnight, killing 50.

“All of our hearts today are with Orlando. We are Pulse, we are Orlando, we are Americans, we are all LGBTQ community members today,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We are all part of a country that will not be beaten down. We will not go away, and today we are proud of who are.”

But suspicious activities closer to home also threatened to overshadow the event: Santa Monica authorities discovered a car full of possible explosives, assault rifles and ammunition. The owner was a man who told police he was in town for the pride festivities in West Hollywood.

Among the weapons in the car was tannerite, an ingredient that can be used to create a pipe bomb, according to a law enforcement source quoted by the Los Angeles Times. The Times also reported that there was no known connection between the shooting in Orlando and the car, which had Indiana plates. The FBI has taken over the investigation.

“I want everybody here to know that we are safe, we are protected, our law enforcement officials are here,” Garcetti said.

Los Angeles’ LGBT community came out in full swing to show their pride. After a moment of silence for the victims in Orlando, the parade went on:

Kanyakrit Vongkiatkajorn contributed to this report.

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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