BY MARIANNE GROS
Campaigners held a vigil for victims and their loved ones, spreading messages of solidarity and unity after two people were killed in a terrorist attack on London Bridge.
Volunteers from Turn To Love (TTL) came together on Borough High Street two hours after the incident on Friday November 29.
TTL is a global community of individuals whose mission is to amplify and spread messages of solidarity, peace and unity after acts of terror.
It includes people from all religious and cultural backgrounds coming together to counter the upsurge of online hate speech that often follows terror incidents.
TTL founder Heider Ridha said: “I lost a family member to a terror attack myself.
We founded TurnToLove three years ago to make sure the voice of the billions of people who believe in love and unity and stand against terror and hate would be heard around the world.
“With our volunteers we go on the ground after attacks to show that the more the voices of hate try to divide us, the more we will come together and stand united.”
Members of the group held placards with TTL’s slogans “love will win, terror will lose” and “stop the voices of hate”.
The organisation also shared the statements of both victims’ families on their social media accounts, along with pictures of Friday’s vigil.
A memorial has been set up on the bridge with flowers, posters from Turn To Love, and with community members giving the opportunity for bystanders to leave messages of support to the victims’ families on post-its.
“Let us not be victims to the ones who wish to divide us…..may the fallen rest in peace,” said another TTL community member.
The group’s actions in the London Bridge area received support and messages of solidarity from religious charities Faiths Forum for London and Faith in Society.
Faiths Forum for London strategy advisor said: “As a member of the congregation of Southwark Anglican Cathedral I felt it was important for me to join the vigil.
“The perpetrator no more represents Islam than the slave traders and crusaders of the past represented true Christianity. We now owe it to the victims to redouble our vigilance and our commitment to working together in unity.”
Turn To Love previously organised campaigns in the immediate aftermath of attacks in Brussels, London, Manchester and Baghdad, generating over 500 million views worldwide across mainstream and social media.