Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Manchester Will Not Let The Sun Divide Us
MAY 2017 Wednesday 24TH
posted by Morning Star in Britain

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.

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