In today’s no-brainers, holy shit, that London attack was awful. As far as I understand, three men plowed their van into several pedestrians on London bridge. They then left the vehicle on foot armed with knives, wearing fake suicide vests, and begun to attack passers-by, injuring at least 48 people. Within eight minutes the police had shot and killed all the assailants. While usually I’d say that I could only imagine the horror of being stuck in the middle of that kind of scenarios, brief Reddit browsing uncovered first-hand experiences. A local at the popular Borough Market Wheatsheaf Pub said they heard screaming, saw someone stabbed in front of them and everyone in the vicinity began fleeing upstairs. A few minutes later, police showed up and told them to flee the building. I’d expect for that to have been some combination of terrifying and surreal. Seeing that kind of savage violence in front of your eyes would be nightmarish.
I’m not familiar with British parliament, but Theresa May seems to have come of as alarmingly ignorant. Claiming that Britain is far too tolerant of Islamic Extremism, that it’s imperative that extremists are shown the superiority of Western values. She also criticised The Internet for breeding safe spaces where these extremists can communicate. She proposed greater internet censorship as a method of fighting this kind of rhetoric. Seriously? Internet censorship is the answer? Britain is already one of the most surveilled countries in the world, does she think stripping away the personal online freedoms of its citizens will do anything to combat terrorism? As long as the internet exists, people will find ways of sourcing privacy. Extreme measures of clamping down on the information flow would more likely impact the general population that minority cells of terrorists. The level of censorship required to actually make a dent in terror attacks would more likely start breeding discontent on home soil. If any country would likely tell those in charge to sod off over an idea like that, it’d be Britain.
It’s refreshing to see the difference in coverage between UK and US media over an attack such as this. It’s more likely a function of the online streams in which I swim, but overwhelmingly the British response seems to be radiating love and support. Sentiment seems to be fucked if I’m gonna let this get in the way of my Sunday rather than hysterically overplaying the gravitas of the situation. It was awful, but if Britain does anything well, it’s to keep calm and carry on. I mean, they created the initial meme after all.
I’ve gotta say, with a number of friends in London, Facebook’s safety check in system was something of a relief. It seems to have been widely adopted and was a great way of putting ill feelings at ease. Despite the majority of new changes working against the user, this one gets my support.