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July 7, 2005


"This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful; it is not aimed at presidents or prime ministers; it was aimed at ordinary working class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christians, Hindu and Jew, young and old, indiscriminate attempt at slaughter irrespective of any considerations, of age, of class, of religion, whatever, that isn't an ideology, it isn't even a perverted faith, it's just indiscriminate attempt at mass murder, and we know what the objective is, they seek to divide London. They seek to turn Londoners against each other and Londoners will not be divided by this cowardly attack... I wish to speak through you directly, to those who came to London to claim lives, nothing you do, how 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, how many you kill, you will fail." --Ken Livingston, Mayor of London

I've already seen a host of references to the epic stoicism of London's residents during the Blitz. The analogy is a good one, and their reputation of being resilient in the face of adversity is well-deserved. Let's not forgot that, as one Brit commented today, "nobody yet has won a war by bombing London".

I have a real soft spot for London. It was the first city I ever lived in that felt like a real city. I had lived in places with terrific art museums, lots of history, and diverse populations before -- but London was different. It was the first time I had ever lived in a place where public transportation was enough, where owning a car was an unnecessary nuisance, and where your most valued possession was your transit pass. It was in London where I came up with my own personal "urban livability index"; it wasn't enough to have cool places to go and interesting things to see -- you had to be able to get there conveniently on public transportation. Ever since the summer I spent there, I've judged the "livability" of every one of the five cities I've lived in against London and the Tube. All but one have come up short.

My heartfelt condolences to those involved and their families.

Posted by shannon at July 7, 2005 4:35 PM | For related posts:


London was the city that turned me into a city person.

Posted by: Colleen at July 7, 2005 9:52 PM