This video from England says about itself:
Vigil of peace after Manchester attack shows diversity makes community stronger
23 May 2017
ISIS wants to set the world on fire, and it wants Christianity to declare war on Islam. What was apparent following the attack in Manchester was quite different. It was a union of people in a peaceful vigil who were black and white and brown — Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindu and Sikh. Scott Pelley reports.
By Peter Lazenby in Britain:
Manchester: United We’ll Stand
Wednesday 24th May 2017
– Manchester defiant in face of horrendous terror attack – 22 killed and 59 injured – Perpetrator identified as 22-year-old Salman Abedi
THE people of Manchester came together last night in a show of solidarity against the terrorist bomb attack which killed 22 people, including children, at a concert in the city on Monday night.
Thousands gathered in Albert Square outside Manchester City Hall in support of the families affected by the tragedy, to grieve for the dead and in defiance of the perpetrators.
Vigils and commemorations also took place across Britain.
There was huge praise for emergency services’ response to the atrocity. Convoys of ambulances took the dead and 59 injured to eight hospitals across Greater Manchester.
The bombing took place after US singer Ariana Grande’s concert in the Manchester Arena, next door to Victoria railway station. More than 20,000 people — many of them teenagers and children — were at the sold-out concert.
The lone bomber, who authorities have named as Manchester-born Salman Abedi, exploded a device in the foyer of the arena as the concert ended, killing himself in the process.
Terror group Isis claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, in which the youngest victim announced so far is eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos. Another identified victim has been named as 18-year-old college student Georgina Callander from Chorley.
Many of the injured were carried into Victoria station where rail workers with first-aid training treated them. Some tore up their clothes to use as tourniquets.
Off-duty NHS staff poured into the eight hospitals dealing with the casualties, some of whom suffered life-threatening injuries and were undergoing surgery yesterday.
Cab drivers drove to the scene to give free lifts home to shocked and dazed concert-goers and nearby residents opened their homes offering shelter and safety to those who fled the horror. Hotels provided free accommodation and sent food and drink to concert-goers and emergency service workers.
Manchester blood donation centres were so inundated with volunteers yesterday that some had to be turned away. Political leaders suspended the general election campaign, uniting in their condemnation of the attack.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “I’m terribly sorry and terribly sad for you.
“There can be nothing worse than losing a child in a situation like this.”
“We have to put our arms around them and support them, not just today but in all the very difficult days to come because a trauma like this doesn’t go in a day or two — it’s there with them for the rest of their lives.”
He said communities must “not be divided by this kind of appalling, atrocious act of violence.”
Mancunian musicians also sent messages of support, with former The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr tweeting: “Manchester stands together.”
New Order and former Joy Division star Peter Hook wrote: “My daughter made it home safe from Ariana Grande last night.
“My heart goes out to all parents and those involved. Manchester stay strong.”
Manchester-born comedian Jason Manford wrote: “Total respect for our amazing emergency services who run towards trouble and danger when every natural fibre must be telling them to go the other way.
“The stewards at the Arena who stayed and did their job and helped people out to safety.
“And to those legends who made me proud to be Mancunian by offering rooms and lifts home in people’s desperate hour of need.
“Made me realise that although they think these events make us weaker, they actually bring us together as a community and eventually make us stronger.”
Last night’s Manchester vigil was mirrored across the country. Vigils were held in George Square in Glasgow, Birmingham, Bradford-upon-Avon, Chatham and a service in Leeds Minster.
This music video from the USA says about itself:
Ariana Grande – Into You (Live At Capitals Summertime Ball 2016)
By Peter Lazenby in Britain:
Racists race to cash in on sick attack
Wednesday 24th May 2017
RACISTS jumped on the chance to cash in on the Manchester bombing yesterday but were sent packing by ordinary Mancunians.
A tiny gaggle of fascist thugs from the English Defence League turned up with flags outside the evacuated Arndale shopping centre yesterday morning to be shouted down by members of the public.
In footage obtained by Reuters one man was heard saying: “The people of Manchester don’t stand with your xenophobia and racism.
“The people of Manchester are going to stick together, no matter what religion you follow, no matter what the colour of the skin is. We’re not going to stand with people like you.
“We’re going to stick together, because together we are stronger and the people of Manchester are not going to be afraid of who is responsible for this violence.”
Meanwhile, reviled Daily Mail columnist Katie Hopkins called for a “final solution” — the term used by the nazis for the slaughter of six million Jews in the Holocaust.
Ms Hopkins drew a torrent of condemnation, with many demanding that she be sacked from her LBC radio show.
Her tweet was reported to Greater Manchester Police but the force said it was too early to confirm whether an investigation would be launched.
Liberal journalist Owen Jones tweeted: “LBC depends on guests to function. Until they sack Katie Hopkins we should all boycott all interview requests. Enough is enough.”
Writer and environmental activist George Monbiot agreed, telling LBC: “Please don’t ring me until she’s gone.”
Professional provocateur Ms Hopkins swiftly replaced the tweet with a reworded message reading: “We need a true solution.”
Co-convenor Sabby Dhalu said: “Our thoughts are with the loved ones of those killed and those injured in Manchester.
“It is extremely distressing that children and young people were targeted in this way.
“Our response to this tragedy must be to reject the hatred of the perpetrators and those who seek to use this tragedy to divide us and for all communities to stand together.
“As Martin Luther King said: ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that’.”
By Charlotte Hughes in Britain:
Manchester will not let The Sun divide us
Wednesday 24th May 2017
On a dark day for a great city, the tabloid’s cynical sowing of hatred is to be condemned, says CHARLOTTE HUGHES
A DARK cloud covered Manchester and the surrounding areas on Monday night. But it was the following day that many people woke up to the news that there had been a terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena during a concert by Ariana Grande.
The venue was at full capacity, and most of those attending were excited children, teenagers and their parents. For many this could well have been the first concert that they had attended.
Witnesses at the scene said they heard a loud bang, not unlike a gunshot, then devastation ensued.
Twenty-two people have been confirmed dead, the youngest being eight-year-old Saffi Rose Roussos who was accompanied by her mother and aunt. Also confirmed dead was 18-year-old Georgina Callander. A further 59 people have been confirmed as injured, 12 of them children.
The horrendous agony that the parents and families of the victims must be going through is unimaginable.
Yet instead of being cowed, the people of Manchester are showing an amazing solidarity with those affected.
Immediately after the attack hundreds of people took to the internet to offer lifts, support and rooms for the night for stranded teenagers.
The Manchester community is determined that the terrorist attack will not defeat them; instead it will bond the community closer together. Everyone is united in agreement that hatred will not win.
Andy Burnham, the newly elected mayor of Greater Manchester, stated: “My heart goes out to families who have lost their loved ones, and admiration to our brave emergency services. A terrible night for our great city.”
Jeremy Corbyn said: “I am horrified by the horrendous events in Manchester. My thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have died and have been injured.”
These views are echoed throughout the Greater Manchester area. Isis has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack and its supporters have been celebrating, stating: “This is only the beginning.”
The people of Manchester however are determined not to let this callous threat affect them.
Police officers were brought in by taxis due to the lack of available transport. The police force and the community joined together in solidarity to ensure that the victims received adequate attention.
A crowdfunding page to raise money for the victims and their families was swiftly set up by the Manchester Evening News and has already raised a total of over £189,000, showing that people from all communities across the Greater Manchester area and beyond are determined to help the families concerned. There is nothing stronger than the spirit of community of Manchester.
The city is sadly no stranger to terrorist attacks. Twenty-one years ago the Arndale Centre was attacked by the IRA. Fortunately no-one was killed, but many were injured.
Then the people of Manchester rallied round to support the community, giving a strong message to any would-be terrorist attackers that they would stand strong — much like they are now.
Upon talking to people across the Manchester area yesterday, the most common theme wasn’t anger, as many would expect.
Most people would much rather find a solution peacefully than seek revenge. They don’t like the constant bombings and attacks in places like Syria and Iraq; this upsets them also. As one person said to me: “Isn’t it about time that governments stopped bombing people? That’s what is causing this, this is the result. And it has to stop.”
But people’s desire for peaceful resolutions appears to be thwarted by newspapers such as The Sun.
Its headline yesterday stated: “Innocent people were murdered specifically because Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell sucked up to the IRA.” It went on to say that “the Labour pair were snivelling IRA fanboys as it unleashed slaughter on Britain.”
I think it is disgusting that this paper is allowed to publish such articles. Not only are its claims untrue, it was clearly a cynical attack on the leadership’s politics as part of its anti-Labour Party campaign, insulting the people of Manchester in the process.
The paper’s disrespect towards the victims and families is glaring and abhorrent.
Corbyn quite simply campaigned for peace in Northern Ireland. Instead of stirring up retaliation and violence, he sought a peaceful solution — much like the people of Manchester are requesting now.
He did, however, support the goal of a united Ireland, and quite correctly argued that without such a solution armed conflict would be inevitable.
He did not, and does not support terrorism. Instead of misconstruing Corbyn’s words and actions, his critics and the Tory Party could learn a lot from them.
The Sun has been noted for its lies many times, but most infamously the disgraceful lies about the Hillsborough victims and their families. As a result, Liverpool has boycotted The Sun since April 1989.
While the people of Manchester are joining together in solidarity against terror, The Sun is determined to sow division. I therefore call upon Burnham, as our new mayor, to help myself and others to campaign for a Manchester-wide ban of The Sun out of respect for the victims of the terrorist attack.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families at this terrible time.
Charlotte Hughes is an anti-poverty community activist from Ashton-Under-Lyne, Greater Manchester.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
No place for hate merchants
Wednesday 24th May 2017
GREATER Manchester Metro Mayor Andy Burnham’s announcement of last night’s Albert Square vigil for the city’s people after Monday’s terrorist attack encapsulates a resistance spirit telling Islamic State (Isis) that it won’t win.
The response of Mancunians of all backgrounds to the atrocity that hit their city was exemplary.
Accounts continue to emerge of heroic behaviour by emergency services, medical staff listed off but coming to work, taxi drivers not charging, places of worship opening to offer food and friendship and, above all, people emphasising their unity and determination to work together.
The Isis death cult is obsessed with what it calls a clash of civilisations.
It parades itself as representing the world’s Muslim communities, despite those communities overwhelmingly rejecting its inhuman creed, and projects an ongoing global conflict that will culminate in its sovereignty over the entire world.
Its very name is a festering insult to tens of millions of Muslims across the globe who proclaim their commitment to a religion of peace and who understand slaughter and maiming of innocent civilians as a perversion of their faith.
Hundreds of mosques involved themselves recently in registering people to vote before Monday’s cut-off date, knowing that this puts them at odds with Isis which rejects the concept of democracy.
The majority of Isis victims have been Muslims, especially in Iraq and Syria, where the cult, along with its al-Qaida partners in crime, has occupied swathes of territory, imposed its obscurantist and repressive ideology and slaughtered those it designates non-believers.
Our media reacts angrily when Isis followers in Britain, Belgium, France, Germany and other European states perpetrate acts of barbarism such as that directed at children and young people attending the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
While it is natural to empathise with the populations of countries our citizens visit regularly, there is no excuse for an almost offhand attitude to ongoing slaughter inflicted on people in the Middle East and Africa.
Nor should the role of invading Western nations or their collaborators in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and elsewhere who have justified, armed and supported the Isis and al-Qaida hate merchants be ignored.
Incitement to hatred and division is not the sole preserve of Isis. Their “clash of civilisations” claptrap has been mirrored in some of Britain’s media.
Daily Mail online columnist Katie Hopkins takes delight in being provocative, but her latest tweet, “22 dead — number rising,” which carried the punchline, “We need a final solution,” must have consequences.
Hopkins’s subsequent amendment of “final solution” to “true solution,” claiming a typo, is unconvincing. No-one can be in the dark about the meaning or significance of her demand for a “final solution.”
Just as The Sun was driven by public opinion to sack Kelvin McKenzie — serial defamer of Liverpool and its people who made racist comments about Everton footballer Ross Barkley — so the Mail should ditch Hopkins.
The paper needs no reminder of its 1930s backing for Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts when they were terrorising Jewish communities in mimicry of their nazi heroes in Germany.
The media has a responsibility to the society it purports to serve.
Lives are at stake, as is the future of a free and open society in which our people’s infinite variety is welcomed and celebrated rather than feared and despised.
LEADERS of Britain’s biggest Muslim organisation condemned the Manchester bombing yesterday: here.
By Chris Marsden in Britain:
UK government deploys military following Manchester suicide bombing
24 May 2017
Last night, Britain’s terror threat level was raised to “critical,” its highest level. Prime Minister Theresa May declared that further attacks could be imminent in the aftermath of the suicide bombing Monday night of the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.
Up to 5,000 military personnel are being deployed to police key locations. May has triggered “Operation Temperer,” devised in secret in 2015 under Prime Minister David Cameron, when May was home secretary. The plan was subsequently leaked to the press.
The June 8 general election will now proceed under the barrel of a gun.
The Manchester bombing is a horrific crime. The bomber, 22-year-old Salman Ramadan Abedi, packed his device with nails, nuts and bolts to inflict the maximum carnage on his victims, taking 22 lives and injuring almost 120, some gravely. The fact that Grande has a predominantly youthful audience meant that 12 of the dead were children, including the youngest named so far, Saffie Rose Roussos, who was only eight years old.
But the grief and anger this barbaric act engenders make it all the more necessary to maintain one’s critical faculties in the face of the unprecedented moves undertaken by the government. As so often before, the latest terror bombing is being used to advance a right-wing political agenda, giving rise to questions as to the degree of foreknowledge and even active involvement of the state.
Abedi’s name was made public Tuesday evening after raids by armed police, evacuations and a controlled explosion in his Fallowfield south Manchester neighbourhood. It has already been confirmed that he was known to the security services, but was supposedly not considered to be a threat.
This type of evasive response, meant to explain why nothing could have been done to prevent the tragedy, has no credibility. The same excuse was offered in so many previous incidents—most infamously in the November 2015 Islamist attack on the Bataclan concert hall and other sites across Paris, which killed 130 people. The press later revealed connections between the Paris bombers and the perpetrators of the March 2016 suicide attacks on the Brussels airport and subway, and the fact that the police were familiar with many of those involved.
Only this week, the informant Claude Hermant implicated the French state in the January 2015 attack on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine. The perpetrators of what remains Britain’s most deadly terror attack, in London on July 7, 2005, were also known to the police and clearly protected by the security services.
Even after such revelations, things always remain “murky” and are never properly investigated. Little wonder, given that the groups involved are invariably the political creation of the major imperialist powers—used to further their predatory interests abroad and legitimise the repressive measures imposed at home in the name of the “war on terror.”
The growth of Islamist terror groups is the by-product of the endless series of imperialist wars waged since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and escalated since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria have provided the breeding ground for the bitter resentments on which the Islamists feed and then channel in such a deeply reactionary direction.
These groups are often considered allies before later being deemed to be enemies. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the suicide nail bombing. Its origins lie in the 2003 US-British invasion and occupation of Iraq. ISIS began life as Al Qaeda in Iraq, the product of the Sunni insurgency that emerged after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. It shifted to Syria in 201 thanks to the US-led efforts to destabilise and overthrow the regime of Bashar-Al Assad through the arming and funding of Islamist militias.
Abedi’s parents were Libyan refugees opposed to the Gaddafi regime and have reportedly returned to Libya following Gaddafi’s overthrow and brutal murder. Regime change there was again orchestrated through an alliance of the imperialist powers with Islamist groups, including Al Qaeda.
Faced with this record of state criminality, nothing should be accepted at face value regarding the official narrative of events of May 22. However, it is not necessary to prove direct state involvement to understand the ends for which the attack is being used.
On Monday, May and her despised government were in political crisis. She has tried to centre the June 8 snap general election on her claim to be a “strong and stable” leader compared with Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, who is denounced as a threat to national security. But this was derailed by popular disgust at her plans to force pensioners to sell their homes to pay for social care.
In the aftermath of the suicide bombing, all election campaigning was called off and remains suspended today, while May is left to speak unchallenged as the supposed guardian of the nation’s safety. Rupert Murdoch’s the Sun wrote baldly that the bombing “has put terror front and centre of this election campaign. It will shine a light on the character of those seeking to lead this country.” The newspaper described May as an “ex-Home Secretary [who] has the experience and authority to respond.” It called Corbyn a “sniveling IRA fanboy.”
The dangers posed by these developments were underscored by Daily Mail columnist Katie Hopkins’ call for a “final solution” to the problem of terrorism—a term infamously used by the Nazis to describe the Holocaust. Telegraph columnist Allison Pearson tweeted, “We need a State of Emergency as France has. We need internment of thousands of terror suspects now to protect our children.”
Events in Britain are indeed following the pattern set in France, where a state of emergency has been in force since 2015. It is just one month since the presidential elections there took place at gunpoint, with over 50,000 police and soldiers stationed at polling booths. The reason given was the murder of a police officer by Karim Cheurfi, a career criminal supposedly acting on behalf of ISIS. Cheurfi was well known to security and intelligence agencies, yet was left free to carry out his deadly assault.
The parallels are striking. That assault took place under conditions where rising anti-war sentiment, following the April 7 US air strike on Syria, had benefited “left” candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon. The political hysteria whipped up … was used to refocus official debate on “antiterrorism”—helping to ensure that right-wing candidate Emmanuel Macron and neo-fascist Marine Le Pen went through to the final round.
The escalating turn to domestic repression in the UK is bound up with the preparation of new and even bloodier imperialist crimes. The Manchester attack provided US President Donald Trump with an opportunity to deliver a thuggish speech from Israel demanding that “terrorists and extremists and those who give them aid and comfort” be “driven out from our society forever.”
What this means in practice is the pursuit of war in Syria in an alliance with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other sponsors of Sunni terrorist movements. May is up to her neck in these plans, promising that the first act of a newly elected Conservative government will be to put a vote before parliament in support of military action against Assad.
On Thursday, May travels to a NATO summit in Brussels to be addressed by Trump in his first NATO appearance. The US president was already demanding US-led action on terror and increased military spending from the European powers. He will now be presented with a golden opportunity to urge support for a regional Sunni alliance, led by the US and Israel, against Shiite Iran.
PUBLIC-SECTOR unions praised the work of the emergency services yesterday after Monday night’s blast: here.
The victims of the horrific bomb attack were in the “minds and hearts” of the Manchester United squad that flew to Stockholm for the Europa League final, Jose Mourinho said yesterday: here.
A socialist government and a socialist foreign policy needed to defeat terrorism: here.