Thursday, July 07, 2005

London 7/7-British Bloggers Speak

Tavistock Square
"So …
It’s our turn now."

- Stef at London blog Famous for 15 Megapixels

London 7/7: British Bloggers Speak

My thoughts are with the people of London, especially those who have lost loved ones. Those who who choose the murder of innocent people to prove a political point are never right. Everyone with the fire of love for their fellow man in their hearts is a Brit today. There were days I recall...days when those who employed terror would have been put on trial and imprisoned for life. Today, we can rely upon our leaders to use the emotion stemming from such events in order to affect blood revenge and war in lands where other innocent people dwell. It makes less and less sense as the days pass and more innocent people die.

I pray for the madness to end and for my civilization to return, mightily, to the rule of law. We should have never answered the invitation to pre-emptive war from these monsters. Law has been our strength and our shield; our international healing force and common thread.

Terrorism is not new to London...and not solely caused, in history, by Islamic extremists.

A statement has been made on the London bombings by George Galloway on behalf of "Respect" - (UK's Unity Coalition).

Alex Harrowell from the Yorkshire Ranter has updates on life in London today. He mentions something rather disturbing to me, which is that he was told this morning, by the British Transport Police, that the explosions had been due to a "power surge" and that the subway was closed. Had he known there had been terrorist attacks, he never would have gotten on the alternative to the "tube" - which was the bus.

Alex said:
"....evacuating the Tube and transferring passengers to buses seems to have played into the terrorists' hands. I wouldn't have got on a bus for thousands had I known. It's also been suggested that the first sign of trouble might have been a power surge, but surely the explosions can't have been that ambiguous. Either they were lying to us or this was a weak spot in the emergency response, which seems to have been outstanding."
The UK blog, Walls Come Tumbling Down, also comments on the misinformation given by the British Transport Police. He adds that this attack was no surprise - it was just a matter of time.:
If a power surge is responsible for the tube meltdown, someone needs their arse reamed. How can you design a grid system that would allow a power surge to cause explosions in multiple places? Ridiculous.Given the reports that a number of bombs have gone off on London buses I would venture to say that the tube explosions are not power related. Update: this looks pretty bad. It appears that the cell phone network has been switched off to avoid any detonations using the cell infrastructure....Sad to say but it was only a question of time.
Nick Barlow is a Brit with a strong message. He starts with the words of a famous American:

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

- Martin Luther King

In other words, if you’re using what’s happened in London as an excuse to start waving your ‘people who should be dealt with’ list, and demanding for the bombs to start falling, the walls to start building and the jails to start filling up with anyone you don’t like the look of then Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

Curiously, as the Brit blog Chicken Yoghurt comments, the lion's share of angry, race-centered posts in response to the terror attacks seem to be coming from the U.S.

At the British blog called Bloggerheads, there is concern that what they call a "wrong-headed approach" to fighting terror will be compounded by the government's expolitation of these attacks.
"This tragedy will only be compounded by Blair's government using it to further strangle the public. If Charles Clarke dares to speak the words 'ID Cards' today, I will be enraged.....Dear God, look at the human cost of this wrong-headed approach to terrorism - where we exploit it instead of fight it."
Europhobia has an incredible timeline which is being updated quite often.

Tim Worstall also has some excellent coverage and links.

Other British Bloggers' Statements:

My Way of Thinking:
Blair must resign. The strategy of pre-emption has been a failure? Who feels safer now? I have just watched Blair on television trying to claim while he was helping people in the G8 people had the temerity to do this. My wife is safe as are my friends, but I am beyond anger. The Labour party must accept responsibility for the series of policy failures, namely Iraq, that led us to this.

Gridlock - Stockwell Station Closed After London Blasts
photo by OnionBagBlogger

See London PhotoBloggers for photos.

The UK's Militant Moderate, who was inspired to name his post, Streets of London, by the Ralph McTell song (one of my own favorites):
There has never been any hesitation within Britain that international terrorism must be opposed; indeed, the conversion of America to opposing terrorism, after years of equivocation in their relationship with the IRA, was welcome. What is vital now is that a programme of aggressive support for human rights overseas continues. This will mean challenging state sponsors of terrorism, and also the corrupt pro-Western regimes such as Saudi Arabia, where the majority of 9/11 bombers came from. I have no doubt that such a resolve will hold, even if there is healthy debate on the best ways of achieving the fundamental aims of that policy.
The English Guy (residing in U.S.) is supportive of Tony Blair:
This has only strengthened the resolve to fight terrorism. Saying Blair should resign, or that we have failed somehow is like saying, "well we should just quit right now", after Hitler bombed london once...Living in the US, but being a Brit, I am worried for my family and friends (who thankfully are all ok), but I feel that the direction of the war on terrorism is right. You cannot protect everything all the time, it is inevitable that sometimes, someone gets through....In another way though, this will perhaps demonstrate the validity of the surveillance state when they start to backtrack to find these culprits, where they live, who they associate with, and so on.
With tongue placed firmly in cheek, Norfolk's own Johnny B hands us his top three conspiracy theories:
--conspiracy theories that I have just made up:

3. US wanted to move G8 agenda from poverty and climate change to security and terrorism.

2. Support was waning for ID cards.

1. French really really wanted Olympics.

A group called The Secret Organisation of al-Qaida in Europe today claims responsibility for blasts. [Guardian]

The statement, which also threatened attacks against Italy and Denmark, said: "Rejoice, Islamic nation. Rejoice, Arab world. The time has come for vengeance against the Zionist crusader government of Britain in response to the massacres Britain committed in Iraq and Afghanistan.."
..The authenticity of the message could not be immediately confirmed, but al-Qaida in Europe also claimed responsibility for the last major terror attack in Europe: a string of bombs that hit commuter trains in Madrid, Spain, in March 2004 that killed 191 people.
I feel that it's important to note blogger Evan Kohlmann's doubts about the authenticity of this claim. [CounterTerrorismBlog]

Fistful of Euros has a thought about why the attacks may have taken place when they did. If there's any truth to it, it might indicate that European Bin Laden followers chose their targets and dates independent of instruction from top-down. This would mean terrorism is widening and spinning even further out of control.
"...until reading Juan Cole woke me up to the possible connection. The trial started on Tuesday. Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri has appeared in court at the start of his trial on terrorism charges. The 47-year-old, who denies any involvement in terrorism, has been held at Belmarsh prison since May 2004.'

Former CIA Bin Laden analyst Michael Scheuer told NPR that "chickens were coming home to roost" for US and UK politicians who had obscured the nature of the al-Qaeda struggle by maintaining that the organization attacks the West because "they hate our values." Scheuer believes that al-Qaeda is an insurgent ideology focused on destroying the United States and its allies, because its members believe that the US is trying to destroy them. They want to drive Western nations, especially the US, out of the Middle East. He said that yesterday's threats toward Denmark and Italy by The Secret Organisation of al-Qaida in Europe are consistent with patterns of al Qeada activity. Many Americans do not understand that Britain is a former Empire, and that they have a long history of imperialism in the minds of Muslims. [NPR]

Unconfirmed reliable sources reported that Scotland Yard had intelligence warnings of the attacks a short time before they occurred. The Israeli Embassy in London was notified in advance, resulting in Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu remaining in his hotel room rather than make his way to the hotel adjacent to the site of the first explosion, a Liverpool Street train station, where he was to address and economic summit. [Israel National News]

The G8 leaders meeting in Gleneagles put back all announcements until Friday after the London bombings. [BBC News]

Prime Minister Tony Blair's statement in full about the series of explosions in London on Thursday morning. [BBC News]

MP Condemns Terrorist Outrage in London Today:
"We should avoid rumour and speculation and not rush to conclusions. This was a brutal and repulsive act, aimed not at the state or the powerful but aimed against ordinary Londoners going about their normal business and innocent visitors to our city. It has killed and injured people of all races and colour, of all religions and none. We do not know the perpetrators or their motives although there has been some speculation. No injustice or grievance could justify an act as terrible as this. Those of us who have close ties with the Arab community in London and those of us who represent Muslim communities know that they share in our revulsion and condemnation of attacks against innocent civilians" []

Gia sends a message about the resiliency of Londoners:
"We are not terrorised.

We are just annoyed.

The Germans tried to terrorise Londoners for 40 nights. Londoners just camped out in the Tube singing songs.

The IRA tried to terrorise the British for decades. The British just used the destruction of buildings as unplanned town planning and revamped their bombed cities.

Now these amateurs think they can scare us by messing up the transport system? Bah. We're just pissed off that we can't meet our friend for coffee in the West End.

Piss off, terrorists. Go pick on someone who gives a shit.... You'll get the reaction you want from Americans. Try them again.*

* not really, obviously."

Chris at Cynical-C may work in Harvard Square, but like me, his heart and mind is with the Londoners today. Don't miss his coverage of the 7/7 bombings. One highlight is a letter to the terrorists, which he found at the London News Review.

Ruddy Gore is not a Brit; he lives in Rhode Island. However, I wanted to add one of his comments:
"I fully expect to see skinheaded responses demanding that we take out the Muslim menace at the root plastered all over the Internet. And elsewhere. So let's innoculate ourselves now....
...I hope for cooler heads to prevail. How depressing would it be to see the British people rise up and demand a North Atlantic Guantanamo Bay? Please don't let them become a nation of 2003 Dennis Millers."

Today I heard a market analyst say that, because of the small number of cities under attack (one); the number of people killed in London (small compared to 9/11), and the fact that no markets actually have to close, the market may be affected temporarily, but will spring directly back.

Sky News:
Bomb Bus 'Ripped In Two' By Terror Blast
Hospitals Battle To Help '1,000' Victims
Police Chief Issues Travel Advice
Tales Of Horror From Tube Explosions
Shocked Blair Returns To London
London Mayor Defiant After Atrocities
G8 Leaders Unite Against Attacks
Terror Attacks: The Reaction In Britain
Home Secretary's Statement To MPs
Your Experiences On Bus And Tube Blasts
Central London Blasts Timeline
World Reacts With Horror To London Attack
'Twisted Terrorists' Want Credit: Expert
Shares Crash As Blasts Hit The City
Emergency Hotlines For Worried Relatives
Your Appeals For Information

Sundance - World Premiere of An Original Opera by Matthew J. Walton

Sundance - World Premiere of An Original Opera by Matthew J. Walton
World premier of original opera by Matthew J. Walton about events leading up to the trial and incarceration of Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier

Thursday, July 7, 8:00 PM & Friday July 8, 8:00 PM
Cazenovia College Theater, Lincklaen Street, Cazenovia
Tickets: $15 regular; $12 students/seniors; free for those 18 and under (available at the door)
For tickets to the opera,
phone 315-655-STAR

Cazenovia College Theater in Cazenovia, NY, will be the site of the world premiere of "Sundance", an original opera with music composed by Matthew J. Walton and a libretto by Leonard Walton, directed by Victoria Harder King, set design by Jarrod Bray, and costumes by Robin Miller.

The Cast includes Gina Manziello, Amanda Carnie, Carol Ansell Spradling, Uma Maedke, Jonathan Howells, James Shults, Michael Erickson, William Black, Eric Johnson, David Neal and narrator Alex deMontigny (sundancer from the Lakota/Nez Pierce tribes).

Chamber Ensemble conducted by the composer.



On July 8, there will be a LIVE BROADCAST available at
It will be pay-per-view. The live opera webcast will cost only $5, and proceeds will go to the defense fund for Leonard Peltier.

Visit the website early, it's very easy to use. You will create a username and password in the New User Signup. When you hit "Signup", you'll be prompted for payment. Payments from PayPal accounts take 3-4 days to authenticate, so to avoid waiting, it's recommended that you use a credit card.

You must have a Windows Media Player. It can be downloaded HERE.


You may enjoy a 6:00 PM dinner before the opera at Lincklaen House (cocktails at 5:30) - $20 per person (limit of 60 each evening). Reservations only. July 3 deadline: 315-251-1151 or 315-446-5733. (Choices: Pan Seared Salmon, Chicken & Vegetable Ragout, NY Strip Steak; dinner includes signature popovers, salad & dessert. Drinks & gratuities not included. Vegetarian dinner available on request.)