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Manchester – The City, United

Last night’s attack was a cowardly assault on the city and people of Manchester. The suicide bomber's intended target were teenagers – drawn from all the communities of this proud city.

These were young people who had no warning of what was to come. No chance to flee. Who simply wanted to listen to their favourite artist. Now they will never grow up.

But that is the aim of terrorism: to target the most innocent. Where music and creativity can unite us in extraordinary ways, extremism and violence will always divide.

We can barely imagine the pain the victims’ families will be feeling this morning. No parent should have to lose their children.

We wish to extend our deepest sorrow and sympathies, and to wish the injured the speediest of recoveries.

Stand together

We also stand together with Manchester, a proud city united against those who wish to drive us apart. In its darkest hour, it was a city which responded with enormous generosity to the terrible events which unfolded last night.

Taxi drivers worked throughout the evening, giving their services for free. Many Mancunians donated blood to help victims. There was an extraordinary outpouring of unity in the face of hate.

Make no mistake – terrorists do want to drive us apart. To set community against community, neighbour against neighbour.

Already right-wingers are calling for violent revenge. We must not allow them to succeed.

Music unites

Let’s not do the terrorists’ job for them. By showing that we won’t be cowed, that we can come together in the face of adversity, we nullify their message.

The terrorists picked on the wrong target. Music can and will unite and Manchester's proud musical history will see to that.

We must redouble our efforts to challenge hate and violence, but we must also unite people around what we have in common.

We owe it to the people of Manchester, and those young people whose lives were so brutally snatched away, to honour their memory with love, not hatred.

SIGNED:

John Simm, actor
Shaun Ryder, musician
New Order, musicians
Elbow, musicians
Blondie, musicians
Eddie Izzard, actor
Paloma Faith, musician
Julie Hesmondhalgh, actor
Kym Marsh, actor
Antony Cotton, actor
Connie Hyde, actor
Hermione Norris, John Thomson, James Nesbitt, Fay Ripley and Robert Bathurst, Cold Feet actors
Billy Bragg, musician
Paul Heaton, musician
The Libertines, musicians
David Arnold, composer
Jennie McAlpine, actor
Annie Wallace, actor
RIVRS, musicians
Cabbage, musicians
Barns Courtney, musician

This statement appears in the Daily Mirror here.



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