“Go out and enjoy your favourite singers and bands. Don't be afraid. Dance until you’re dizzy.”
In the wake of Britain’s deadliest terrorist attack in over a decade, people are joining together on social media to share messages of defiance, hope and joy.
Last night, a bomb tore through the foyer of Manchester Arena shortly after an Ariana Grande concert finished, killing 22 people and leaving more than 50 injured. Described by Theresa May as a “cowardly attack on innocent people” carried out with “sickening cowardice”, it was a moment that left the world reeling.
And as messages of love and condolence for the city and its victims continue to sweep social media, a chorus of Twitter users are standing united against terrorism.
Scroll down to read just a small selection of their messages.
Twitter user @hannawwh, who attended the concert, had the perfect response to a man who tried to insinuate that Muslims were to blame for the attack:
It was a Muslim who pulled up in his taxi and drove us home to safety. A very compassionate man who was also terrified yet helped others.— hannah 🐝 (@hannawwh) May 23, 2017
Manchester City Council was adamant that the city would not shut down in the wake of the attack:
Despite the appalling events at the Mcr Arena last night, the city is open for business. Those people trying to sow fear will not succeed— Manchester City Council (@ManCityCouncil) May 23, 2017
Natasha Devon OBE, a mental health campaigner, shared the words of a year 10 student from Oxfordshire:
Barbara Speed, opinion editor at the i newspaper, urged everyone to “keep dancing”:
violent, regressive people often want to stop us dancing, especially women, especially young women. keep dancing.— Barbara Speed (@bspeed8) May 23, 2017
Literary agent Jonny Geller shared the following:
DJ and journalist Dave Haslam shared a short but powerful message that echoed the sentiments of many in Manchester:
You've got the wrong city if you think hate will tear us apart.— Dave Haslam (@Mr_Dave_Haslam) May 23, 2017
Camden Conservative councillor Oliver Cooper shared images of a postbox in Manchester that became a symbol of strength for many after remaining unmoved during the IRA bombing attack in 1996:
BuzzFeed reporter Emily Dugan snapped this picture of a rabbi bringing tea to police working near the arena. She notes that he said, “We are Manchester. We are together.”
Bestselling author Matt Haig described a moment he shared with a taxi driver while visiting Manchester:
Once heard a cab driver tell me there are more languages spoken in Manchester than anywhere else. Manchester is a whole world. It is strong.— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) May 23, 2017
Twitter user Kirkland Ciccone urged people not to be afraid in the wake of the attack, but instead to “dance until you’re dizzy”:
Writer Antony Holt shared proof that Mancunians weren’t hiding at home the day after the attack:
30 minutes after Arndale Centre was closed, it's open again. Have us Northerners cowering in fear? You bastards can't even stop us shopping.— Antony Holt (@Hasselschmuck) May 23, 2017
Author Irvine Welsh, who penned the novel Trainspotting, wrote:
Manchester rocks. It's as hard and big hearted as fuck and nobody will break it's spirit.— Irvine Welsh (@IrvineWelsh) May 22, 2017
Twitter user Scott Nelson encouraged people to stand together in the face of the attack:
Presenter Jason Mohammad described the “love and compassion” that was being shared in the city:
The love and compassion being shown by the people around Manchester is incredible. It is a fine city. Proud. Defiant. We are with you.— Jason Mohammad (@jasonmohammad) May 23, 2017
Twitter user Jack Ogden shared proof that Manchester is “stronger than ever today”:
Finally, in the aftermath of the attack, Manchester residents responded with the ultimate act of defiance – by sharing love, not hate. Here are just a few of the tweets sent by residents offering to help those affected, from free taxi rides to somewhere to charge their phones:
Muslim taxi drivers giving free lifts, Sikh temples giving food & beds, locals giving blood in the morning. Proud to call Manchester home— Emily Bolton (@EmilyBolton19) May 23, 2017
If someone needs a place to stay in Manchester let me know. Have room for a few and safe and sound. Pray for those not as lucky.— T'Challa Masala (@itsabree) May 22, 2017
Anyone in need of information or searching for loved ones can call the police emergency hotline: 0161 856 9400 or 0161 856 9900
Main Image: Rex