Monitor: Brixton Bomb
Reaction to the nail bomb which exploded in a busy market street at the weekend
Saturday 24 April 1999
IT IS almost impossible to comprehend the mentality of that person who made and primed that bomb, and then left it in the middle of Brixton knowing that it would maim dozens of people, black and white. I was also incensed by the way certain "community leaders" immediately denounced it as a "race hate" backlash. It may well have been, but in the aftermath of Saturday's blast, no one knew for sure and to bandy that sort of rhetoric about was inflammatory and insensitive. (Jim Blunt)
BRIXTON IS a resilient place, however. It has had to be. With more than its fair share of troubles in the past 30 years, it has learnt to turn adversity to its advantage. Lacking wealth, jobs and beauty, Brixton has seen race riots and race hatred, police brutality and police victimisation, segregation and prejudice. There have been national inquiries and government resolutions. But since 1981, the district has fought back. Urban regeneration, imaginative integration, the kindling of ethnic pride amid racial diversity have made Brixton now a symbol more of hope than deprivation. No wonder Nelson Mandela asked to go there. Its streets hum with life; no deranged terrorist can destroy their vibrant variety.
SOME OF those hurt will never recover from their injuries and none will forget the moment that changed their lives. For the rest of Britain, this despicable act of violence has raised, yet again, the spectre of terrorism. Saturday's bomb had nothing to do with Northern Ireland but has reminded us all of one simple truth - that there is nothing more important than peace.
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