Derry-Londonderry stands in solidarity with Manchester

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Derry Antiwar activists at last night's vigil

By Richard O'Reilly

The Derry Antiwar Coalition called a vigil on Tuesday evening at the war memorial, whle a book of condolence was opened at the Guildhall.

Simultaneous vigils were held across the British Isles and beyond, as an expression of deep sympathy and solidarity with those grieving the loss of loved ones and those injured in the attack.

22 people attending a concert were killed and almost 60 injured when a suicide bomber detonated an improvised device, many of the victims were children and teenagers, some as young as eight-years-old.

The vigil was attended by several politicians while members of the city's Muslim community joined the vigil, and addressed the crowd.

Members of trade unions, students, families, and community organisations also showed their support.

Derry Anti-War Coalition activist, Davy Mcauley, began the vigil with a moment of silence and reflection marking the tragic event.,

He called on "all political parties to pledge to make sure this atrocity would not be exploited to promote hatred of the Muslim community and to justify an intensification of the War on Terror." 

"Already some have cynically attempted to exploit this tragedy by scapegoating and blaming the Muslim community." said Mr. Mcauley "we stand here with all the victims of the war on terror from Manchester to Syria to Palestine."

The group says it will fight tirelessly to stop any racist backlash in response to this tragedy.

Meanwhile a book of condolence was opened at the Guildhall in memory of those affected by the Manchester Arena attack.

Former Foyle MLA Eamonn McCann at last night's vigil

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane extendied her personal condolences to all those caught up in the latest terror incident to shock the world,

“I was shocked and saddened to hear the news last night of such a horrific attack on young people out to enjoy an evening out with family and friends." said Alderman Hilary McClintock "It is incomprehensible that someone would target some of the youngest and most vulnerable members of our society in such a cruel and callous manner.".
“My thoughts and prayers will be with the families of all those affected by this awful tragedy in the coming days and with the people of Manchester as they come to terms with such a horrendous attack on their city.”

The Book of Condolence will be open in the Guildhall and the public are invited to show their solidarity with the people of Manchester by recording their tributes over the coming days.

There is also an online facility for people to record their messages of condolence here.

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