The women gathered at the site of last Wednesday’s horrific attack where they linked arms while wearing blue as a symbol of hope
Condemning the attack:
Women linked arms at the scene of last Wednesday’s terror attack in Westminster as a show of solidarity with its victims. They wore blue, a symbol of hope, as they stood on the bridge where pedestrians were mown down by 52-year-old terrorist Khalid Masood. They said emotions were “overwhelming”.
As Big Ben chimed at 4pm, they formed a human chain by holding hands for five minutes.
The event, organized by Women’s March On London, was joined by people from different backgrounds.
After Masood sped along the bridge, three members of the public died and many more were injured. He then stormed the parliamentary estate and stabbed PC Keith Palmer to death.
“The feeling of what happened here on Wednesday was really strong. We thought of the ordinary people who were here and were mown down, standing here like this, it was very overwhelming,” said Fariha Khan, 40, a GP from Surbiton. Khan was joined by fellow Ahmadiyya Muslims who said they wanted to add to the condemnation of the violent attack and stand defiant in the face of terrorism.
“When an attack happens in London, it is an attack on me. It is an attack on all of us. Islam totally condemns violence of any sort. This is abhorrent to us,” said Sarah Waseem, 57, from Surrey.
While Ayesha Malik said that being present for the demonstration shows people in the city are united in support of democracy. Malik is a 34-year-old mother-of-two, also from Surrey, she added “As a visible Muslim I think it was important to show solidarity with the principles that we all hold dear, the principles of plurality, diversity and so on.”
Londoner Mary Bennett, a retired healthcare worker, said she was present to make a “small gesture,” adding “I am here to show that in a quiet way we continue to go where we like and do what we like in London.This is my city. It’s a very small gesture but life is made up of small gestures.”
An emotional tribute:
PC Keith Palmer’s family paid emotional tribute to the father and husband earlier this week. They issued a statement saying:
“We have been overwhelmed by the love and support for our family and most especially the outpouring of love and respect for our Keith. We want to thank everyone who has reached out to us over the past few days for their kindness and generosity. The police have been a constant, unwavering support and this very difficult time. It has made us realize what a caring, strong and supporting family Keith was part of during his career with the police. We can’t thank them enough. We would also like to express our gratitude to the people who were with Keith in his last moments and who were working that day. There was nothing more you could have done. You did your best and we are just grateful he was not alone. We care about him being remembered for his selfless bravery and loving nature. We miss him so much, but we are also incredibly proud of Keith.”