After the devastating attack on concert goers at the MEN Arena in Manchester on Monday evening, that left 22 dead and 59 injured, there were vocal outpourings of support for the people of Manchester, with many taking to social media to voice their outrage at the attack and the perpetrator, and to lend a helping hand to the people of Manchester through whatever means they could. The Prime Minister issued a statement condemning the attack, whilst Her Majesty the Queen and various other royals across Europe offered their condolences and deepest sympathies to the people of Manchester.
In Manchester, the response to the attack was swift. The police and emergency services responded at once as one single unit to help those in need, to treat the injured, to help the lost reunite their friends and families, and to find out the reasoning behind the attack. Local taxi companies provided free lifts to those affected by the attack to get home, whilst others ensured that those at the MEN arena could contact loved ones and to have a place of safety to stay as they waited for their loved ones to come and get them.
Across the UK, people have been helping the people of Manchester through sharing posts of those still missing or in need of help through social media, as well as raising money for those in desperate need of assistance following the attack. A series of vigils in town and city squares were arranged across the nation for six in the evening on Tuesday 23rd May, including one in Birmingham.
With representatives from all major political parties in the city in attendance, as well as most faith groups in the region, there was a good turnout in Victoria Square in front of the Council House.
Speaking at the vigil, the Bishop of Birmingham the Right Reverend David Urquhart said, "When we come together like this as we have tragically from time to time in this city, we do so in solidarity with those who are passionate for peace."
"Do Birmingham proud on behalf of Manchester by making this a place where we are world famous for getting on together."
Ahmed Kazi, from the President Saddam Hussein mosque on Birchfield Road, condemned the attacks stating, "These people who call themselves Muslims are not following the true path of Islam. Islam teaches unity, and they have gone against the teachings of our Prophet. We today are showing the world that our communities are standing together."
Amrick Singh Ubhi from the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Sikh Gurdwara on Soho Road and Chair of the Council of Sikh Gurdwaras in Birmingham softly encouraged the crowd, "This is not in the name of religion, I would go as far as saying that this isn't in the name of humanity. If we are not feeling the pain of Westminster, of Manchester, and the world over, we are not human. Join up, unite and stand together, and do not let terror rule or win the day."
Recently elected Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street added, "There is so much in common between our two cities, the histories, the aspirations we now have, and the welcome that our cities have offered so many people. Our heart goes out to all Mancunians tonight. There is a very important message for us to send today, and that is quite simply that terrorism will never win."
Despite the tragedy that was inflicted on the people of Manchester by a senseless attack, they have rallied, and have the full support of the people of the entire United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.