LGBT+ community in shock after attack near Norway’s oldest gay bar

The roar of the tram, a few cries of seagulls, and a deafening silence. The Norwegian capital woke up in shock on Saturday June 25 after the killings that took place in the city center, on the eve of the last day of Oslo Pride, a week of festivities geared towards the LGBT + community. Around 1 a.m., an assailant pulled out a gun and fired on festival-goers. It killed two people and injured 21, according to a provisional report, striking Norway at the heart of its capital and its progressive values.

“We are in the heart of the gay district. It is an attack against everything we have built, our model of tolerance, of acceptance of others. » Tron-Petter Aunaas, resident of Oslo

Blue dress and sunglasses on eyes tested, Tron-Petter Aunaas, 24, replaces two rainbow flags at the foot of the wreaths laid at the intersection of Pilestredet and Rosenkrantz streets, blocked by the police. The square draws a triangle. Tron-Petter designates three bars at the ends. “These are gay bars. We are in the heart of the gay district in Oslo. Everyone knows that here. It is an attack against everything we have built, our model of tolerance, of acceptance of others,” he denounces, flabbergasted. He had passed there at night, photographing himself in the crowd, before being awakened by the worried calls of his relatives in the morning.

Read also: In Norway, two dead and several injured after shooting in Oslo; the police are investigating “a terrorist act”

Oslo hit amid LGBT+ celebrations

On this Friday, June 24, the Norwegian capital hosted the biggest annual LGBT+ party of the country, an entire week of celebrations and music deemed to attract more crowds than the national holiday. The night was beginning to be white and joyful. The giant sound system installed in Studenterlunden, the park in central Oslo, was spitting out Lady Gaga.

Homosexual and lesbian couples strolled freely, hand in hand, between the facades decorated with dozens of rainbow flags. Some sketched a feverish dance step on the asphalt as the hours progressed, in the half-light of the northern summer nights. “We are an inclusive and progressive city”still welcomed the mayor, Marianne Borgen, during a reception at the town hall, in the early evening.

Around 1 a.m., more than a dozen shots were fired near the London Pub. An institution, the oldest bar in the capital, and the center of Oslo Pride celebrations in the Norwegian night. “Without the London Pub, Oslo wouldn’t be Oslo”summarizes Joakim, an Osloite by adoption for nine years. “In eleven years of Pride, I’ve never seen this, breathless, haggard, Martin Hallingstad, 45, who works for the event. Of course we have straight people who complain, but that’s as far as it goes. Him, obviously, if “, he winces, pointing to the place where the killer broke into. A friend of his is hospitalized this morning after being shot in the shoulder blade.

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