Opinion: Here’s why I’m proud of Manchester and it’s multiculturalism

As a proud Mancunian watching the events of last night unfold was not easy. It started with a few tweets and Facebook posts asking what the bangs were, and ended with 22 people losing their lives.

Social media was crazy, every time you refreshed the page, ten more tweets popped up giving new information. There was so much fake news it was hard to tell what was real and what wasn’t. Of course as soon as anyone heard the noise, people online assumed it was a bomb, and a terrorist attack.

I tried to avoid sharing anything until I knew it was real and tweeted from the Police. I blocked almost half of my Facebook newsfeed for saying horrible and racist things almost as soon as the news broke.

Fake posts began circling almost instantly, old photos of the venue were posted making it look like a disaster zone, photos of children who didn’t even live in the country were posted as missing. But with all the racism and horrible things being posted, the majority spoke out to try and help.

The hashtag #RoomForManchester started being used to help people find a safe place to stay just half an hour after the initial blast. Taxi drivers turned off their meters to get people home safely for free, local people opened their doors and offered cups of tea to those who needed somewhere to rest.

“I think that’s the true Manchester spirit,

in times of need we reach out and stick

together to help one another.” Lily Houston.

My friend and I sat up all night talking and we both decided we weren’t going to let this scare us off. Manchester has been my home for almost all my life and you never imagine something on this scale happening in your home town.

I’m thankful no one I knew personally was at the concert but my heart goes out to all those that were there. The city is still in shock and today the shops in the centre were shut and cordoned off as developments continued.

My friend, Shelby, a student at Manchester Metropolitan University debated whether or not to attend her exam this morning.

Arndale shopping centre, Manchester.

“I was cautious about whether it was worth attending my exam, the university offered exceptional factors for absence if people felt wary about travelling.

“The seriousness of the situation hadn’t fully hit home until I reached Piccadilly gardens in the city centre and saw the armed police, I’ve never seen a gun in my life and it was quite a shock that this was necessary to protect people in the city centre.

“Before I left to make my way into town my mum told me she loved me nine times because she was that worried, I was also asked to leave a shop because the city centre was going into a lockdown.”

As the day went on, the city did everything it could to support those affected by the night’s horrors. A just giving page was set up and has been steadily gaining support, raising almost a quarter of a million pounds in less than 24 hours.

Even local tattoo artists have come together to show their solidarity, offering £50 Manchester Bee tattoos, with all the money going to the victims’ families. Hundreds of people have taken to social media to say that they will not let horrific acts like this spread hate.

All money from Bee tattoo’s in Manchester will be donated to charity.

I’ve always been alternative, and Manchester is the perfect place to be a young alternative person. You can walk down the street head to toe in rainbows and glitter and no one bats an eyelid. No matter what your skin colour, your hair colour, your religion or looks, you’ll be accepted in Manchester.

I’m proud that the people of Manchester have come together to support one another and make sure that the whole world knows that even when tragic things like this happen, we will be okay.

Manchester always has and will be a multicultural city and many Mancunians, like myself, are proud to be from Manchester and will stand strong, together.

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