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Friday, July 21, 2006

A year on...

Alright. It might seem strange that I'm acknowledging the anniversary of the failed bombings, rather than the decidedly more deadly ones known (annoyingly) as "7/7".

But (as Will noted), it's a bit futile. What more could I have said that hasn't been said, better, by people who know more? It's not like I was really in any way directly affected by it, any more than I was by 9/11.

I wasn't even in the city when the 7/7 shiznit happened. I was above it, if you remember, returning from a week-long trip back to Calgary for DarNat's wedding. So I wasn't hurt, nor traumatized by the events. I don't know anyone directly -- or even indirectly, to be honest -- who was in anyway physically hurt.

The first set of bombings scared me, of course they did. But it's the second ones -- the failed attack two weeks later -- that really freaked me out. I remember that day very clearly. Unlike with the first attacks, I was not cluelessly wandering the remaining working bits of London transport. I was interning at New Statesman at the time, and watched the coverage unfold online and on the TV in the office.

It reminded me of being in the Gauntlet on September 11 and during the Iraq invasion. Almost too much information pouring in -- as usual, refreshing the BBC website every 30 seconds -- with highs and lows attached to every rumour, every shred of speculation.

And I remember that evening, I was supposed to go see some artsy thing at Somerset House with Dan -- it would have been our first date. His desk was maybe a few feet from mine, and toward the end of the day, I walked over and cancelled (he looked honestly dissapointed and very cute). Why did I cancel? Honestly, I wanted to go back to my flat and call my mom. I really needed to do that.

The reason the second set were so much more frightening -- even tho they failed -- is it proved it could happen again. And it will, in some form or another. Hell, they've even found terrorists in Canada. Canada -- who the hell wants to blow up Canada?

But what really bothers me is the reaction here. Not from the average person on the street, but from the governement. Those bombings are being used as an excuse for crap like ID cards and immigration crack-downs -- things planned well before the attacks. Clearly the police and the government -- as seen with the Stockwell shooting and Forest Gate -- haven't learned a damn thing or just don't care. (And if you doubt that, read this list of what has happened since in the way of preventative measures, and tell me one thing that would have stopped this from happening.)

And to be honest, ID cards -- my opinion of them being similar to the not exactly positive one held by this guardian writer -- will make me quit this country much sooner than bombs.


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