A murderous attack on women and girls in Manchester

Don’t need permission
Made my decision to test my limits
‘Cause it’s my business, God as my witness
Start what I finished
Don’t need no hold up
Taking control of this kind of moment
I’m locked and loaded
Completely focused, my mind is open
Ariana Grande : Dangerous woman

Socialist Resistance extends its sympathy to the families of the people who were killed and injured in the attack on Ariana Grande’s Manchester concert. The pain of the parents whose children were murdered or hurt must be immeasurable.

Those responsible will have known that the people they set out to kill, maim and psychologically scar would have overwhelmingly been young women and girls. Theirs is a death cult whose real gods are slaughter, rape and patriarchy. Misogyny and homophobia are a everywhere a hallmark of fundamentalism.

Lyrics like those of Dangerous Woman quoted above sum up everything that the killer and his accomplices hate about women and girls. That is why they targeted the Manchester Arena on May 22nd. Male violence against woman was taken to a horrific new extreme in that concert venue.
The murderers may try to justify this action and so many others by citing the West’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and British or American support for the colonial oppression of the Palestinians. As socialists we are internationalists and enemies of imperialism. But we reject the murder of children and innocent people as a form of political statement. This is a reactionary, barbarous expression of a reactionary programme. It will bring no comfort to the Yemeni family who has lost a loved one killed with British weapons or the Palestinian parent whose child was killed with explosives paid for by the US government.

This horrible crime will be measured against the anti-personnel devices being used by Saudi Arabia, supported and armed by the UK and US in Yemen. And endless such horrors in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. But we must not be relative about this. Measuring it against wars elsewhere won’t help the grieving parents, siblings, friends, bystanders and emergency services in Manchester or anywhere else on the planet.

Such an act will affect all mass events up and down the country. Every event organiser will now have a new fear. Bag searches and scans had already become routine, and are bound to become more widespread at venues like the Tate as well as museums and theatres and sport grounds everywhere. And now we have the announcement that the military will be on the streets – which wont make many of us feel safer at all

And some have been rightly quoting Trotsky on another impact of this barbaric act: The more ‘effective’ the terrorist acts, the greater their impact, the more they reduce the interest of the masses in self-organisation and self-education – Leon Trotsky

On the night of the attack hundreds of working class Mancunians on the streets, in hotels, taxi firms and hospitals showed how to respond to obscurantist butchers by helping strangers. The night after the slaughter thousands from every community took to the streets of Manchester to show their love and solidarity with the victims and their families. Collective action is how we change the world, end imperialist wars and put an end to male violence against women.

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