Bay Area to Honor Tucson Victims

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    TUCSON, AZ - JANUARY 09: A boy places candle at a makeshift shrine at the University Medical Center, for those killed and wounded during an attack on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) on January 9, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona. Giffords, who is in a coma at the hospital, and allegedly 18 others were injured and six people were killed Friday at a public event entitled 'Congress on your Corner' when a gunman opened fire outside a Safeway grocery store in Tucson. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

    This weekend's mass shooting in Tuscon, Arizona happened hundreds of miles away, but seemed to hit home to many in the Bay Area.  

    The gunman is alleged to have targeted Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  She was shot in the head and remains in critical condition at a Tuscon hospital. Six other people were killed and more than a dozen others were hurt.

    Now, a group of young people have found a way for the Bay Area to respond to the violence.

    The East Bay Young Democrats will hold a candlelight vigil outside Oakland City Hall Wednesday night to remember the victims.

    Organizer Jonathan Bair said the purpose of the candlelight vigil is to condemn political violence and violence in the local community. Blair added it is a "non-partisan event" that will include members of the clergy and elected leaders.
     
    "We want to express solidarity with the victims," Blair told Bay City News.  The vigil starts at 5 p.m.

    Although they happened before the organizers of Wednesday's event were born, assassinations have made their mark here in the Bay Area. In 1978 San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and city supervisor Harvey Milk were shot and killed inside City Hall.  Then-supervisor Dianne Feinstein became the next mayor and has since emerged as one of California's most prominent politicians.

    Feinstein said her heart sank when she heard about the shootings over the weekend.

    "I have seen firsthand the effects of assassination, and there is no place for this kind of violence in our political discourse. It must be universally condemned. We do not yet know the gunman’s motivations, but I am convinced that we must reject extremism and violent rhetoric."

    In that same year, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, (D) Hillsborough, was a congressional aid when she traveled to Jonestown Guyana with her boss Congressman Leo Ryan.  He was assassinated in hail of bullets as they attempted to fly home.  She was shot five times.  Speier has told reporters she has had flashbacks of that day in 1978 ever she learned of the shootings in Tuscon, but adds she will not change the way she interacts with her constituents.