Prominent London politicians from across political parties have voiced their support for the Walk Together initiative – a public call from a broad coalition of people and organisations, from different backgrounds and faiths, to come together in remembrance on the 10th anniversary of 7/7, writes Joe Cryer.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson, and mayoral candidates Duwayne Brooks, Zac Goldsmith, Tessa Jowell, Syed Kamall, Sadiq Khan, David Lammy and Caroline Pidgeon are all backing the initiative that asks people to walk the last stop of their journeys on July 7th and to share an image of their walk on social media using the hashtag #WalkTogether. They shared some words with us about the 7/7 anniversary and why they are supporting #WalkTogether.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “The 7/7 attacks were an appalling act of murder and we must never forget the 52 people who died, nor how it changed the lives of many more. As we mark 10 years since that terrible day, the #WalkTogether initiative is an opportunity to reflect on how Londoners came together in the face of this callous and nihilist ideology, through a simple act of remembrance.”
Sadiq Khan has produced a short video called ‘Remembering 7/7’, in which he calls on Londoners to join him on 7 July for #WalkTogether. He said: “I fully support British Future’s excellent initiative to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 7/7 and I will be joining those taking part by getting off the Underground at Russell Square. It was where the Piccadilly line tube was heading when the bomber detonated his explosives and is also close to where the Number 30 bus was in Tavistock Square on the day of the attacks.
“Ten years on, and in light of the recent appalling killings in Tunisia, it is more important than ever that we send an emphatic message of unity to the extremists so they know that they have completely failed in their mission to spread hate, fear and division among us.
“As we #WalkTogether on Tuesday we will be afforded time to not only pause and remember those who lost their lives, but also a moment to stop and reflect on the resilience of a city whose different communities stand together, in direct defiance of the terrorists, as one.”
David Lammy said: “The tragic events of 7/7 sought to divide us and to tear our city apart, but Londoners united and rebuilt with a resilience that transcended all divides. It is a resilience that has been at the core of London throughout its history – from the Great Fire to the Blitz to the threat of global terrorism.
“Ten years on, we must recapture the sense of togetherness and determination that London displayed in response to that attack on our city and our way of life, in order to continue to move forward together and tackle the new challenges that our city faces.
“It’s for this reason that I’m asking all Londoners to #WalkTogether, and because it is as vital now, as then, that every life lost that day should be remembered.”
Syed Kamall said: “I will never forget the moment I heard about and saw the images of the tragic events on 7/7. To hear that my home city had been attacked by terrorists and that Londoners had been killed, shocked us all. When you stand up for freedom of choice, there will be others who try to pull that freedom away from you. London changed, we all had to become more alert but the strength of the people who live here and the determination to carry on, showed to the rest of the world that we will not be beaten. London will always remain one of the greatest cities on earth because of its diversity. There are few other places where so many people of different backgrounds live and work together, in peace, even after events like this. Let us show the rest of the world that we #WalkTogether.”
Tessa Jowell said: “This is a beautiful, sensitive initiative. Families and survivors of 7/7, so many of whom I know well, will I am sure take great comfort from this simple statement of solidarity.”
Zac Goldsmith said: “On 7/7 Londoners from all communities defied the terrorists with a quiet but powerful display of dignity and unity. Ten years later, #Walktogether gives us all the chance to quietly reflect on those who died and those who were caught up in the atrocious attacks, while also remembering the bravery of many others. This simple yet poignant act is a fitting way to mark an important anniversary.”
Duwayne Brooks said: “The terrorist attack of 7/7 was a low point for London reminding us all of the horror and pain terrorism brings. As we walk forward together in unity we must never forget the victims or the hero’s of that day.
“Our great city is a microcosm of the world and as such living and working together is not a luxury but a necessity. We need to understand the needs, concerns and desires of not merely the populace today, but how to greater involve all of the peoples of London in creating a more safer inclusive London for tomorrow.”
Caroline Pidgeon said: “On the 7th July 2005 London’s streets were packed with people walking home, shocked by the attack on our city but united. Ten years on I hope as many people as possible choose to take the simple step of walking as part of their daily journey. In a public act of remembrance once again Londoners can unite.”