Manchester: Tragedy and Solidarity

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The city of Manchester has been added to a growing list of European cities that have suffered ISIS inspired terrorism. The horrors inflicted on Paris, Nice, Berlin, London, Stockholm, and St Petersburg occurred in different ways, but all had the basic aim of causing carnage in cosmopolitan cities. It seemed that the capacity to shock had been exhausted, but the events of the 22nd March at the Manchester Arena are a new low: the deliberate targeting of the young at an event which would appeal mainly to children and teenagers. It is this callous difference in the choice of target that has plunged Manchester and the United Kingdom into a state of shock. A heart-breaking sign of the resulting trauma is the frantic Facebook feeds with posts from friends and families who have lost contact with their loved ones. We do not know the names of the victims, the dead, the injured, the witnesses, only that this is the worst attack in the United Kingdom since 7/7.

The UK Government website below gives information for support for those affected by the attack:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/manchester-attack-may-2017-support-for-people-affected

The Manchester Evening News has information on how people can help, including donations.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-terror-attack-how-help-13076350

After the Westminster attack this blog made a call for the victims of the attack to be the ones who were remembered, not the perpetrator of the violence, and the same call is made here. Much will be written about the motivations for the attack and who inspired it, but the most reducible truth is that the responsibility lays firmly at the feet of those who believe that they have the right to take life for a cause. There are also things in common with other attacks: people stood together, the emergency services did their work under extreme pressure, political differences were set aside, and there was support from abroad. People will also be angry, and rightly so, but we should be wary of knee jerk reactions, or those who would exploit tragedy for their own ends. Fear, anger and hate are what the bad guys want: don’t let them have it.

For more information regarding this blog see:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-40008389

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-arena-bombing-live-attack-13075807

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/23/sophisticated-weapon-used-in-manchester-terror-attacks-is-disturbing-says-security-expert.html

Dr Carl Turner,

Site Coordinator

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