Glasgow shows solidarity with Manchester after attack
Glasgow city officials and residents come together for vigil after Manchester terror attack
Hundreds attended a Glasgow City Council vigil to demonstrate their support for those affected by yesterday’s terror attack in Manchester.
The gathering took place in Glasgow’s George Square at 5:30pm on 23 May, following the 22 May attack that took place shortly after an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.
At the time of writing, 22 people have been reported killed and a further 59 injured after a man detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in the arena.
Bolander told the crowd: “Deliberately killing children is the height of cowardice and truly evil. We stand here together with the people of Manchester – shoulder to shoulder – to show strength, love, and deep sympathy for all people affected by last night’s events. We want to send you, all people of Manchester, love and prayers for strength and hope.”
Aitken said: “It seems that too often we have to gather in George Square these days in memory and in condolence, when there has been an act of terror in the world and innocent lives taken.”
“Glasgow has itself faced acts like this,” she continued. “We didn’t let it divide us, we had the backs of our citizens, we supported each other, we stood in solidarity, and we’ll do so again.”
After a two-minute silence, the floor was opened up for members of the public to express their condolences. They brought forth candles, cards, stuffed animals and flowers as tokens of solace.
SNP MSP Sandra White, who represents the Glasgow Kelvin constituency, told The New Normal: “I and all of Glasgow stand in solidarity with the people of Manchester who are today facing up to the horrific attack perpetuated on their city.”
She continued: “My heart goes out to the people who lost their lives and the many who are injured and all those affected at this sad time.”
Aamer Anwar, Rector of Glasgow University, said the event had hit close to home for him.
“I was brought up in Liverpool and born in Manchester,” Anwar told The New Normal. “My two nieces go with my sister to Manchester several times a year to watch their idols.”
He added: “Young people went out to dance and sing, with their whole lives in front of them, never to come home.”
However, he did not want to only focus on the negative. He said: “A community of all colours and religions once again will come together to help, to cry and to heal…we know that the spirit of Manchester won’t be broken by the hatred of one man.
“Some will seek to scapegoat Muslims and sow division, but if we truly wish our way of life to prevail then we must unite. Bombs do not distinguish on race, religion or creed. Hate is never the solution.”
Sarah Douglas, who attended the vigil, shared a similar opinion. After listening to another woman nearby tell a reporter “we can’t let them win, we wont,” Douglas refuted the idea that the attack should become a battle cry for retaliatory action.
“It’s not us versus them,” Douglas said. “‘Cause the danger is it can become an us versus Muslims situation. Personally, I think hate generates hate. I think it’s better that everyone stands together and love, rather than actually hate each other. I don’t think hate achieves anything.”
She said that marginalising others would only lead to further danger.
“It’s better that everybody as a human being stands together,” she continued, “because no matter where you’re from, targeting children, anywhere in the world, is not acceptable to anybody.”