In the past two and a half years, we have been under attack pretty much constantly. As a Belgian woman from Brussels, who’s been living in London for almost 5 years, I have been touched by these attacks in my home town and in the city my heart has chosen.
I have felt disbelief, anger, sadness, fear and incomprehension. I have, without even noticing, change the way I live my life. Since Le Bataclan in Paris, I take a mental note of all the exits in a concert venue. Since Brussels, I have avoided the tube at rush hour and started taking the bus. Since Manchester, I have felt on the verge of tears at any given time; I have felt this ghostly hand around my heart, crushing it slowly and never releasing its embrace.
When the attack happened in London, just a few days ago, I thought that I wanted to hide somewhere in a mountain, far from civilization, far from this world that is turning uglier by the minute.
That was until Sunday evening, until One Love Manchester, until this massive concert that was the most perfect response to those terrorists.
During those three hours of music, generosity, togetherness and genuine love, I felt no fear and no anger. This concert is going down in history because it gathered amazing artists in such short notice; mostly because 50 thousands people were standing there as one.
I can’t help but imagine the apprentice-terrorists, probably hiding somewhere, watching this unbelievable manifestation of love. They thought they would break us and we actually showed them that they haven’t; that they never will! They attacked kids at a concert; we put together something even bigger. This gig was almost like a therapy, a measurable demonstration of kindness and love. It definitely brought courage and hope back into my heart.
I feel we should do the same for London! We should organise a banquet, a feast on London Bridge. Get together, have music and food: show the world and the haters that we stand as one. I don’t have much else than my words and my willingness to try and change things.
So, what do you think, Mayor? Should we gather on London Bridge and in Borough Market, have a feast, a banquet? Get together and show them, show everyone that we are one and that love will win, always?