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Thursday, July 07, 2005
  Ken Livingstone's Statement
From The London Web Site
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has issued the following statement:

'London has been the target of a cowardly terrorist attack. Londoners have responded calmly and courageously.

'I commend the professionalism, courage of the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London staff, the Ambulance, Fire and other emergency services.

'On behalf of all Londoners, I want to express my deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those who have been killed and to all of those who have been injured.

'The Police, transport and emergency services are carrying out well-rehearsed plans to treat and evacuate casualties and protect London against any further attacks.

'The most important thing Londoners can do today is to assist the Police and Emergency Services in every possible way: by staying totally calm, by not travelling until the Police advise that it is safe to do so and by not calling the emergency services unless life is threatened.

'Innocent people coming from all of London’s communities have been targeted by this indiscriminate attack. I urge Londoners from all of this city’s diverse communities and faiths to support one another and stand together against terrorism.'


This is what I heard him say, however:
"I hope you will understand if, after the statement I make, I’m not in a position to take questions and I do not want anything I do or say to cause confusion or misunderstanding in the effort now being undertaken by our emergency services to rescue and save those Londoners who’ve been subject to this cowardly attack. Our thoughts are with those Londoners who have been injured. Our thoughts and the efforts of the administration at City Hall will be to care for them and to care for those who have lost loved ones, and there has been loss of life. I want to thank the emergency services for the way they’ve responded.

"Following the al-Qaeda attacks on September 11th in America we conducted a series of exercises in London in order to be prepared for just such an attack. One of those exercises which was done by the government, my office and the emergency and security services was based on the possibility of multiple explosions on the transport system during the Friday rush hour and so the plan that followed from that exercise is being executed today and with remarkable efficiency and courage, and I praise those staff who are doing that. I‘d like to thank Londoners for the calm way they have responded to this cowardly attack and echo [word unclear – sounds like] the advice of Sir Ian Blair, the commissioner of police – do not travel, take the advice of the police, stay at home, wait if you are not at home until you hear over the radio or television the advice of the police about how you will proceed to get home later today.

"I have no doubt whatsoever that this is a terrorist attack, as has been claimed. We did hope in the first few minutes after hearing the events on the Underground that it might simply be a maintenance tragedy. That was not the case. I have been able to stay in touch through the very excellent communications that were established for the eventuality that I might be out of the city at the time of a terrorist attack and they have worked with remarkable effectiveness, and I will continue to be in touch until I board the plane that takes me back to London in the next few hours. I want to say one thing specifically to the world today. This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at presidents or prime ministers. It was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old – indiscriminate attempt to slaughter, irrespective of any considerations for age, for class, for religion whatever. That isn’t an ideology, it isn’t even a perverted faith – it is just… indiscriminate attempt at mass murder and we know what the objective is. They seek to divide Londoners. They seek to turn Londoners against each other. I said yesterday to the IOC – this city of London is the greatest in the world because everybody lives side by side in harmony and Londoners will not be divided by this cowardly attack. They will stand together in solidarity around those who have been injured, those who have been bereaved and that is why I’m proud to be the mayor of that city.

"Finally, I wish to speak through you directly to those who came to London today to take life. I know that you personally do not fear to give your own life in exchange for taking others – is why you are so dangerous – but I know you do fear that you may fail in your long-term objective to destroy our free society and I can show you why you will fail. In the days that follow look at our airports, look at our sea ports and look at our railway stations and, even after your cowardly attack, you will see that people from the rest of Britain, people from around the world will arrive in London to become Londoners and to fulfil their dreams and achieve their potential. They choose to come to London as so many have come before because they come to be free, they come to live the life they choose, they come to be able to be themselves. They flee you because you tell them how they should live. They don’t want that and nothing you do, however many of us you kill, will stop that flight to our cities where freedom is strong and where people can live in harmony with one another. Whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail."


I see no reason why I should add anything to that.
 
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