July 7th, 2005


(no subject)

BBC reports that at least 30 people have been killed, over 350 injured after three blasts on the Underground network and another on a double-decker bus in London. Sky News is reporting at least 37 killed, 700 injured.

A hotline has been set up to determine if your loved ones are alright: 0870 1566 344
For those in the U.K., there is a number to call for anyone who wishes to donate blood: 0845 7711 711.

A LiveJournal community has also been set up at london_070705 to respond to the tragedy. Wikipedia has an entry up for the disaster, which is being updated by numerous people in real time. London transportation information and alternatives are also being shared at http://www.londontransport.co.uk. Pictures of the event are also being shared on Flickr, under the following tags: bombs, bomb, blast, terrorism, and London, and in the London Bomb Blasts Pool, and London Explosions Pool.

Press release played on BBC says:
8:51 Moorgate / Liverpool street explosion, 100 yards into tunnel from Liverpool Street. Seven confirmed fatalities. 8:56 Kings Cross / Russell Square: 21 confirmed fatalities. 9:17 explosion on train arriving at Edgware Road; three trains involved, 5 confirmed fatalities. 9:47 explosion on bus at Upper Woburn Square; number of fatalities unconfirmed.


Here are a collection of firsthand media accounts:
BBC collection of survivor's accounts.

BBC reporter's logs from numerous reporters on the scene.

Ian Wade for the BBC in London

Sky news interview with witness to London Underground bombing.


Firsthand accounts from LiveJournal users in and around London:

evildrem - "I've just had a text message from Rachel (my little Rae of Sunshine). She's in London as was called in for holiday cover at Mirror Group where she works. She is locked in Canary Wharf Tower. The police have just shot a suicide bomber. She is safe but a bit freaked out. She's not the only one... Just had text from [info]gnommi She works at a hospital in London and they are now on major incident plan. Nobody is allowed home until the all clear is given. No food as the canteen is being used as an emergency ward."

kaellana - "I go to school in central London. Everyone was crying. Everyone was screaming. Everyone's parents work in the centre of the city. All the phone lines were down, and we didn't know a thing. Still hardly know anything. One girl's brother's girlfriend got off the bus just before it exploded. Another's brother was actually on the train. He was all right. My dad's not answering his mobile, and I know that he was commuting this morning. Through King's Cross. Called the emergency line, but no luck. Oh, God."

sevendials - "We've taken 50 cases at UCH (University College Hospital), and that's small compared to what the Royal London were dealing with. I can't get over the feeling that some of the people in my cohort would have been working in the A&E (accident and emergency) departments when this happened. And I was at home and asleep. It just seems wrong of me somehow. I'm only a student, but I keep wondering, shouldn't I be doing something? Aren't I obligated to do something as part of the disaster response thing the NHS has set up? Or are students exempt? Nobody bothered making that one plain to me. Should I stay where I am? Try and go in? What? Yes, I'm freaked. I need a hug and my father is over fifty miles away."

elethe - "I came a different direction into work today and got here quite early. Good job - it seems there have been explosions on the tube line I would have taken, and there are reports of a double-decker bus exploding. Course, it might not be very easy to get back again now. The tube I did get on seemed to have been the last going North - the one after was going to Kennington - the other direction. Which was in itself odd. And my train stopped for ages at Warren Street. The platform was deserted and the automatic "this station is Warren Street" voice sounded really echoey and creepy. I thought there was something peculiar going on, but I discounted it as me being paranoid."

sampagirl - "This morning, I gasped for air when I saw the news: a bomb in one of the underground carriages in the Edgware Road station had just exploded. Immediately, I thought about one of my dearest friends, Lazaro, who works just opposite of the station and would be travelling around that time, 8:45AM. And he was there, and thank goodness he was just leaving the station when the heard a loud bang and, after minutes, people were screaming and crying for help. He then went to help those who managed to escape and also saw those two people, who sadly couldn't make it, being taken out of the station."

jul1et - "we have been locked down at work - only those desperate to leave may do so on the premise that until the police can update people, we are safer here than outside. Two of the team were on a bus two down from the one that exploded in Tavistock square - one of them was on the phone to my Deputy manager at the time it happened to apologise for being late - they have just made it to Blundell street about 10 minutes ago in a bit of a state. we appear to have accounted for everyone at work now, and I'm glad that LJ has accounted for all pretty much everyone else."

hexdcml - "The phones were down pretty much all morning (work was quiet - I wonder why???). At first, they said there was a 'power surge' along the Tube. I guess that was just the initial reaction. However, did manage to load up teh interweb on my phone to get more details. Huzzah for GPRS. I'd hate to be the person who is related to the people sitting on the top deck of that bus."

guyelfkin - "I've given up on trying to get home - indications are that the london stations are only open for services heading *out* of London. No good whatsoever for those of us who need to get back *in* to London in order to go out again on the other side."

miss_soap - "As has been offered elsewhere, we've more than enough space to take people in if they're stuck in Central London and unable to get home tonight. Wapping's only a 15 minute walk from the City if you need someplace to camp out. The food and beer man from Ocado delivered today, to quote him: 'It'll take more than some fucking terrorists to stop me doing my rounds'"


The best response to the blasts came from Ken Livingston, the Mayor of London.
"I know that you personally do not fear to give your own life in exchange for taking others. That is why you are so dangerous. But I know you do fear that you will fail in your long-term objective to destroy our free society. I can show you why you will fail. In the days that follow, look at our airports, look at our seaports and look at our railway stations. And even after your cowardly attack you will see that people from the rest of Britain, people from around the world will arrive in London to become Londoners, to fulfil their dreams and achieve their potential. They choose to come to London as many have come before because they come to be free. They come to live the life they choose, they come to be themselves. They flee you, because you tell them how they should live."


Bush had a chance to show real sympathy, but instead, we get this:
"The war on terror goes on."

WTF?! Asshole. I suspect that both Bush and Blair will use this tragedy to justify a war in a country where Al Qaeda *didn't even exist* until after we invaded. Sure would've been nice if our respective governments had spent the last four years concentrating on Al Qaeda instead, rather than lying to their people to drag them into Iraq.

My advice to the people of Britain? Take the day off and spend it with friends and loved ones. If you're in London and have a car, give others who took the train a lift home. Have a nice cup of tea. Try to relax and go about your ordinary routine. Get to know your neighbors and even perfect strangers. Don't be afraid. Don't let the terrorists win.

Expect lots of updates as the day goes on.

Something to think about.

If we as a country should repudiate and renounce acts of terrorism, then perhaps we should address some of our moral blind spots too.

While civilian terrorist attacks are widely despised, it's worth noting that the terrorists, by attacking civilian targets inside London, attacked targets which were arguably far more valid than many of the civilian targets which are routinely attacked inside Iraq. By bombing London, they attacked targets that were as valid in many ways as those destroyed during Sherman's March to the Sea, the bombing (and subsequent firestorms) of Hamburg, Dresden, and Tokyo, the atomic blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the B-52 carpet bombing of cities in North Vietnam, and arguably about as valid as many of the civilian targets in Iraq which the coalition have attacked at times.

Approximately 130,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the war so far, with the majority of the deaths credited to Coalition attacks. Prior to the war, another million or so Iraqis died as a result of sanctions -- sanctions which the U.S. kept racheting up, despite the reported civilian deaths, the increasing poverty and hunger, the inability of Iraqi hospitals to obtain needed medical supplies, and the inability of their country to obtain goods needed to supply their people with fresh drinking water. It was a sanctions program so ruinous that the head of the UN program stepped down in protest of the humanitarian disaster.

The attacks on London were horrible, awful, inhumane, and unacceptable, but...

The Iraqis lose over five times as many people per capita to the war every day.

Imagine over a thousand such attacks and you start to get the full picture.


Sure, it's a tragic day and all that, but I had to point this out...

"President Bush collided yesterday with a local police officer and fell while riding a bike on the grounds of the Gleneagles golf resort, where the Group of Eight meeting is taking place. Bush suffered scrapes on his hands and arms that required bandages."

And now, time for the punchlines!


Secret service memo. 7/7/05


For all future overseas trips, please *DO NOT* provide POTUS with a bicycle obtained in the visiting country. A Secret Service approved bicycle should be shipped out ahead of time to the nearest U.S. consulate instead, to maintain a consistantly safe environment for POTUS. DO NOT FORGET TO ATTACH TRAINING WHEELS!


Punchline #2:

Witnesses on the scene claimed that Bush was on the brink of tears after an apparently emotional morning. Fortunately, Condoleeza Rice was on hand to kiss the president's scrapes and "make them all better". Ms. Rice reportedly escorted the president back to the clubhouse, where she purchased the president a double scoop of rocky road ice cream.