To honor the Orlando nightclub shooting victims, LGBT activists created a nightclub of their own outside the Capitol on Thursday.
The newly formed group, Werk For Peace, organized the flash mob-style group dance for its first event.
“We think that dance is a form of healing so we’re trying to use this not just as a way of occupying space and saying we are here, we will dance as queer individuals. But also, we’re using [it] as a form of healing ourselves and working to heal the world,” organizer Firas Nasr said.
Nasr gathered the dozen dancers between First Street and the center steps of the Capitol until Capitol Police asked them to move.
He brought the dancers over to the grass area in front of the Senate side, where other organizers met them with 49 heart-shaped signs depicting the names and faces of the victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12 .
Nasr announced, “We just want to tell Congress that it is not OK that a gun bill hasn’t been passed yet,” in front of a rainbow flag and dancers in pink vests that read “Ban assault weapons now.”
He then started a chant of “We are queer, we are here, we will dance.”
The 15-dancers danced to Pharell’s “Happy” and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” among other songs. They then moved back to the concrete area below the Capitol steps.
Complying with Capitol Police, they put down all signs and took off their vests so they were no longer demonstrating, just dancing.
“We have activists all over the country who are working to promote peace through using our bodies and occupying space through dance,” Nasr said.
He said the grassroots movement is organized under a power-neutral structure, with the goal of promoting peace through dance.