On Wednesday 22 March, London was shaken by terror after a man drove his 4x4 along Westminster Bridge, ploughed through pedestrians and crashed the vehicle into the fence surrounding the Palace of Westminster hitting even more people. The guy then climbed out the car, got through the fence, and stabbed an unarmed policeman. He was then shot by police.
No sooner had this awful thing happened than the hatred began. The 'let's blame Islam' bigots, the conspiracy theorists and the false flag nutters all crawled out the damn woodwork.
The worse thing was nasty comments from people on Fox (yes, Katie Hopkins, I am talking about you, you evil woman!) saying how Britain was divided, cowering and that liberals in the rest of the UK hate London. Which is of course completely and utterly wrong. I'm from Yorkshire. And I LOVE London.
Every time something like this happens, idiots try and make out that the government are behind it and all the people are actors. We had it here, in Sandy Hook, in Paris and in Brussels. For Heaven's sake! Terrorist attacks happen. It's horrible and wrong, but it happens. It's not some stupid government conspiracy and saying any of this stuff is doing nothing but dishonouring the victims and their families.
And then we have the Islam/Muslim haters, like one who tweeted - before we even knew who the perpetrator was, "How much are you betting that is was done by a Muslim?" What? Good grief! It seems that people are too ready to blame the Muslims for absolutely everything. Even if nothing happens. Example: the day after this in Bellingham a guy did a similar thing - he drove his car onto a pavement, hitting people. Instantly, people were screaming, "terrorism". Except it wasn't. It was a guy who was under the influence of drink. Something that happens every day of the week in many parts of the UK. Muslims are not responsible for everything and they condemn these attacks as much as everyone else.
We need to stop the hate speech, racist paranoia, the conspiracy theories, and the false flag nonsense. When something this awful happens, regardless of where in the world it may be, we need to stand together in solidarity, and condemn it. And we need to stand up and say we will support the memories of the victims and their families.
I was in Westminster on Saturday 25th March four days after this appalling incident happened and all I saw from the majority of people was kindness, friendship, love for the people who died and for their families. And they weren't just Londoners. They came from far beyond the capital city. I myself had travelled from Leeds. We paid our silent respects together, prayed together, and in some cases wept together. We hugged the police who were around, thanking them for the work they do, the protection they give us every day, showing them how sorry we were that their colleague had being killed. Like journalists, police risk their lives to do their jobs, and like us, they sometimes lose it in the process. I saw more flowers and beautiful messages than I have ever seen in my life! It was amazing and incredibly moving and an image of compassion that I will never ever forget. I cried until I got on the train home an hour later.
This is what I will remember about this particular week. Not the hate, not the conspiracies, but people holding hands, weeping and being supportive of their fellow human beings. Exactly the way that it is and the way it should be.
To PC Palmer, thank you for everything you did to protect the world around us. May you and everyone who perished on that sad day Rest In Peace. X
Flowers for the victims of the Westminster attack
Message of support for London