Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Justice Comes To Liverpool

In the many news reports aired today, the same sentiment was repeated over and over; that Liverpool felt like a different city today, a city that could breathe again now that justice has been granted for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster.

I had the privilege of being in the crowds this afternoon outside St George's Hall to pay my respects. It was a deeply moving sight, seeing the floral tributes and people laying bouquets, scarves, and T-shirts on the steps before the chimes of the town hall bells echoed across the city 96 times in commemoration not just of those who lost their lives, but those who campaigned long and hard for 27 years for this day. But it was an uplifting experience too, as we realised we had come together, no longer just in grief, but in triumph that justice had finally won out. 

I'd been at a picket line for striking junior doctors in the city earlier in the day too and found that to be a great experience of people coming together and uniting in a common cause too, so it really was something of a double whammy for me to experience today.

Unfortunately I couldn't hang around all day and so I was not one of the approximate 30,000 that lines the pavements from Lime Street Station to St George's Hall this evening. A shame, as it looked like a night to remember.

But, do I think Liverpool feels different? I think that, whilst we would all give anything for Hillsborough not to have happened (and by the same token for the NHS not to be in the crippling state it is currently in) it is nice to be in a position to reacquaint ourselves with a sense of solidarity, support and community spirit. To rub shoulders with people, chat and smile and feel for once like we're all part of something, and that things can change if we all stand together. 

If you ask me, Liverpool carries on, just like it always has, but perhaps with its head held a little higher and with less woes upon its shoulders after today.

It will never walk alone.

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