On Saturday 3rd June, the UK was struck by another horrific terror attack. Shortly after 10.10pm, a van ploughed through pedestrians on London Bridge. Its drivers then left the vehicle, stabbing innocent people in and around Borough Market, close to the bridge in the capital. Just eight minutes after the attack officers flooded the scene and shot the three attackers dead.
The horrific event is the third attack at the hands of terrorists in the UK in as many months, and understandably, has left many of us feeling nervous and uncertain.
But despite these tragic events, the prevailing feeling within the United Kingdom is one of defiance and perseverance, as its citizens stay true to the classic British motto, “keep calm and carry on”. And there have been some inspiring examples of the defiant British spirit, both during and following the devastating attacks in London on Saturday night and Manchester last month…
1. A woman who barricaded the door of a London restaurant…
One London cab driver, Aksha Patel, has described the heroic actions of one of his passengers on Saturday night. He told Sky News how a woman, whose name is unknown, used the full force of her body to hold the door of restaurant near Borough Market closed in order to stop a terrorist coming in.
She held the door of the Black and Blue restaurant while diners escaped out the back of the restaurant, eventually giving way to run herself. Patel said, “She knew they were bad people trying to break in. She managed to hold the door for a few seconds but they overpowered her. People managed to escape through the rear door so she saved maybe 20 peoples lives.”
2. The dancing policemen at One Love Manchester concert…
Despite the tragic circumstances, positivity radiated from the One Love Manchester concert on Sunday night. The event was held by Ariana Grande, whose concert was bombed terrorist Salman Abedi two weeks ago.
The pop star was joined by some of the biggest names in music, including Take That, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry, to honour the victims of the Manchester attack and raise money for the survivors and families. Ariana has been lavished with praise for the emotional but uplifting benefit concert.
The mood was one of happiness and love – and this was brilliantly displayed as the camera panned around the crowd and caught sight of a police officer, dancing jovially in a circle with a group of children and a couple of adults.
3. J.K Rowling’s response to Donald Trump’s criticism…
She’s well known for her outspoke, brave, and honest messages and responses on social media site Twitter. Last night, the Harry Potter author responded to a critical tweet from American President Donald Trump. In the aftermath of the attack, Trump criticised the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who had told Londoners not to be alarmed following an increased police presence on the streets.
Trump appeared outraged at Sadiq’s admission. But Rowling bit back, telling the President that the Mayor’s message was something called “leadership”. She went on to call him an “alarmist blowhard”. Don’t mess with Rowling!
4. The man who carried his pint with him as he ran from the attack…
One man has become the unwitting face of defiance in the aftermath of the terrorist act – by carrying on in true British spirit, running away from the attack with his pint glass still intact.
5. A man who attempted to distract terrorists during attack…
One man, Gerard Vowls, was at the scene of the attack at Borough Market on Saturday night, and was one of the people responsible for attempting to drive off the terrorists as they stormed the area with knives in hand.
After noticing them attacking people on the streets, Vowls has explained how he tried to fight them off, by throwing whatever was handy – chairs, tables, and bottles – at them.
He explained, “I went ‘Oi, terrorists, cowards, Oi!'” Reportedly, Vowls was attempting to draw them into the main road and straight into the police’s line of fire. He later altered an officer to tell him that he knew where the police were going.
6. A taxi driver who saved a student’s life…
Rhiannon Owen, who is a student studying in London, has spoken out about how one courageous taxi driver saved her life on that fateful night.
She said, “The taxi driver just swerved toward me and screamed, ‘Run! You have to run! They’ve got a knife!’ His face was just like something was so wrong, and I just started running as fast as I could. There was sirens everywhere, people screaming, the glass was smashed in one shop. There was a guy, he was injured. I just ran.”
Rhiannon managed to get to the safety of a nearby pub, where 40 staff and punters had locked themselves in. She is now campaigning to find the man who saved her that night.
7. Concert-goers have the time of their lives on Sunday night…
In perhaps the ultimate display of solidarity, the crowd at Ariana Grande’s One Love Manchester concert – many of whom were at the arena on the night it was bombed – proved that nothing would stop them from having a good time.
Teens, children and adults gathered at the Old Trafford Stadium and sang, danced and laughed their way through the night – showing that they won’t be stopped in living their lives to the full.