London attack: Women hold hands to honour bridge victims

A group of women, some with their daughters, link hands on Westminster bridge Image copyright PA
Image caption One woman said it was "a very small gesture but life is made up of small gestures"

Women gathered on Westminster Bridge on Sunday to show solidarity with the victims of the London terror attack.

The group held hands in a line for five minutes when Big Ben chimed at 16:00 BST.

Many of the women wore head scarves at the tribute and said they were wearing blue to represent hope.

Khalid Masood, 52, killed four people when he drove a car into pedestrians and stabbed a police officer on Wednesday.

Fariha Khan, a GP from Surbiton who was at Sunday's event, said: "The feeling of what happened here on Wednesday was really strong.

"We thought of the ordinary people who were here and were mown down, standing here like this, it was very overwhelming."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Some women attended the tribute with their daughters

The event was organised by Women's March On London group which took part in an international campaign to highlight women's rights on the first full day of Donald Trump's US presidency.

Another woman who was there, Sarah Waseem, said the Islam faith "totally condemns violence of any sort".

She said: "When an attack happens in London, it is an attack on me. It is an attack on all of us.

"This is abhorrent to us."

Image copyright EPA

Londoner Mary Bennett, who is a retired healthcare worker, said she was there to make a "small gesture".

She said: "I am here to show that in a quiet way we continue to go where we like and do what we like in London.

"This is my city. It's a very small gesture but life is made up of small gestures."

Image copyright Women's March On London
Image caption Women's March On London chose to post this invite on social media at midday on Sunday as they wanted the event to be low key

On Facebook and Twitter, Women's March On London posted an image titled We Stand Together and outlined reasons for people coming together after the attack on Wednesday.

The post invited people to unite in grief for those who died, to support the injured, to defy what the group called "forces of fear and division", and to show solidarity for equality, justice and peace.

The group said: "It is important that we come together at this time when tensions intensify in our communities."

Women's rights activist, Akeela Ahmed, who helped organise Sunday's event said it had been "powerful and sent a clear message".

She said there had been no speeches and that those attending had been advised to stay for the five minutes then disperse because the group had wanted it to be low key and not disruptive.

'Silent resistance'

Organisers urged people to talk about the event using the hashtag #WeStandTogether.

One Twitter user, Natasha Gooding, wrote: "United Kingdom we are, united we stand. Unity and love will always be more powerful than your hate."

Another, Eleanor Goodman, said it was "such a beautiful tribute". She tweeted: "It embodies peace, love and unity."

Roshana Mehdian wrote: "Darkness cannot defeat darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot defeat hate. Only love can do that."

Catriona Robertson called it "silent resistance against fear and division".

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