My heart is breaking for Manchester. My heart is breaking for the city that I love and call my home. Every fibre of my body is consumed; consumed with anger, fear and deep sorrow. My heart is breaking for those who never made it home, for the family and friends of those affected and for those who witnessed things that they’ll never unsee.
I cannot comprehend just how evil you must be to target a pop concert. To target an event aimed predominantly at an audience of young girls. How evil must you be to not just create a regular bomb but to throw in nuts and bolts with the sole intention of maximising catastrophe? It’s evil beyond comprehension.
They want us to be terrified and fearful. They want us to be scared to leave our homes. They want our city to be broken and sombre. They want to divide us, to spread fear and to generate racism.
But we are Manchester.
They’re messing with the wrong people. We haven’t, and won’t, respond in the way they want. We respond with open doors, with offers of empty sofas to sleep on and with endless kettles flicked on for brews. We respond with free lifts to get people home, with generous donations despite pay day looming and with an excess of willing donors queuing to give blood. We respond with love and unity. We respond with care and compassion.
This is a community; from our football to our music, from our comedy to our art. We have a heart and we have a soul. We are a city with unrivalled vegan cafes and Instragam-worthy burger serving diners. We are Jews and we are Muslims and we are Christians. We are “Curry Mile” and Canal Street and Deansgate locks. It doesn’t matter who you are- you’re one of us.
In the wake of last night’s events the people of this fabulous city rose to the challenge. Homeless heroes saving lives. Gifts of water, food and housing from every corner of the city. Strangers taking children to safety. It’s been overwhelming to see the kindness of ordinary people and our incredible emergency services at their best.
We truly do stand together as one. In Manchester it’s not mere rhetoric, it’s not trite and overly sentimental- it’s just our reality.
We are fighters and we are stronger than this. Tears fall for the innocent people who died and my heart bleeds for the injustices of this world. Words cannot do it justice. Let us not focus on the evil behind this- let us not make a martyr out of cowards. Let’s focus on our precious community, on the unity around us and on fighting this terror.
Today, within the space of moments Manchester saw the very worst of humanity and the very best. In the face of inhumanity, let’s remember one thing; we, Manchester, are human.