London Attacks – The Aftermath

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Seven people have been killed in central London after three men drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and launched a knife attack on people enjoying a Saturday night out in pubs and restaurants around Borough Market.

Source: BBC News

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-40147164

It’s a scary world we live in these days.

Last night I was snuggled up on my sofa watching a cheesy movie on Netflix when I started to see reports on Facebook about an attack at London Bridge.  What the police have now labelled a terrorist attack, and was quite similar to the on Westminster Bridge several months back.

I read what I could about it, which wasn’t much at the time, until suddenly there were reports of a second attack (by the same men) in Borough Market, which is right by London Bridge.  Reports of men running around stabbing innocent people as they enjoy a usual Saturday night out in the pubs.

By this time, the news-wires were ablaze of different reports and sightings, and Facebook seemed to be filling with statuses asking if people were ok.

And then about almost 2 hours after the initial attacks at London Bridge, there were reports of a possible third attack in Vauxhall (which isn’t anywhere near the first two) … but in the end this turned out to just be a false alarm as it was ‘just a stabbing’ (if there is such a thing..).

What I found scary is a lot of people I know go out in Vauxhall all the time, and many of them were at Royal Vauxhall Tavern for the usual Saturday night frivolities. Even though it was deemed to not be part of the attacks at London Bridge, there was still a bit of a lock-down at the time in the club to ensure everyone’s safety.

And of course, this does hit somewhat close to home for me as Vauxhall was my old neighbourhood.  I’d lived in the area for almost 5 years and loved (almost) every moment of it.  In fact, I only moved out of the area because I couldn’t afford it anymore.

Of course last night the emotions were flowing quite freely as I read the various news reports about the incidents .. and thought it somewhat sad that the Vauxhall situation was dropped from the news as soon as it was determined to not be part of the terrorist attack.  Regardless of whether it was or not, someone potentially lost their life and that should never be trivialised.

Anyway.. the whole point of these terrorist groups attacking cities like London, Manchester and any number of other cities around the world, is to incite fear and distrust amongst those who live there.  There have been tweets from a certain world ‘leader’ trying to use this latest attack to gain momentum for his travel bans… and that’s just sick.

But as scary as it seemed last night, today just feels like another day living in the big wide world.  And that is a damn GOOD thing.  We can’t allow these religious zealots to make us feel afraid to leave our homes, or to live our lives as we normally would.  We can’t allow them to make us feel bad because of where we live or how we live our lives.

Some may think that’s being callous and inconsiderate to those who did lose their lives or were injured in last night’s attacks, but it isn’t really.  Nobody is saying to forget what happened or act like it never did, because that would be foolish.  We’re not going to pretend it never existed.

Instead, we’re going to use this to bolster our resolve to not give into the terror.  To be more aware of our surroundings, and be alert to those who may want to do us harm.  To maintain our way of life without allowing the terrorists to install bigotry or racism against our fellow Britons, regardless of what faith they may maintain.

What it also does is puts certain things in our lives into a different perspective, and those worries or insecurities from yesterday just seem frivolous.  And last night’s knee-jerk reaction that maybe it was time to leave London now seems silly in the light of day.

I count myself quite lucky that I was nowhere near all of the insanity last night, and that nobody I’m aware of was directly affected by it.  But it doesn’t mean that I’m not peripherally affected by it, same as everyone else who lives in this city.

This is the world we live in, and no matter where you go, things like this will still happen.  So instead of running and hiding, it’s all about getting back out there and continuing to enjoy life as it happens.

Don’t give in to the terror.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40148737