Londoners have been urged to show the world their “resilience, unity and defiance” a week on from the deadly terror attack on London Bridge by enjoying their Saturday night in the capital.
The British Red Cross’s Saturday Night for London fundraising drive to support the victims of the attacks has raised over £700,000 since Sunday, and is backed by Borough Market where three knifemen attacked people enjoying a night out.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the city will stand united in grief for the eight people who were killed, adding that one of the greatest things about the capital is “how we pull together in the face of adversity”.
The mayor said: “London is open. Our resilience, unity and defiance of those evil individuals who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life will never change.
“As we mark one week on from the appalling attack, we are coming together to raise money for the victims and their families. I urge all Londoners to do what they can to support this appeal and show the world that we are city that will never be divided or cowed by terrorism.”
The British Red Cross is working with organisations across London calling on people to “take a ride for London, eat a dish for London and say cheers for London”, and many of the restaurants and outlets in the Borough Market area will be supporting the fundraising.
All proceeds will go to the British Red Cross UK Solidarity Fund, which was launched in response to the attacks in London and Manchester, the Press Association reported.
Mike Adamson, chief executive of the British Red Cross, said: “It’s fantastic to see London coming together to support the people affected by terror attacks.
“The attack in London Bridge and people enjoying a Saturday night out with friends was an attack on the spirit of London. We want to encourage people to come together and unite at this difficult time.”
Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, said: “People will be thinking about what happened last Saturday night and respecting those who have lost their lives, their families and those who have been affected but also not giving in to terrorists and that includes in the immediate surrounds of Borough market.”
It is expected the market will be ready to re-open next week, she added.
Ms Dick said: “The rest of us Londoners want to support those people who have been affected, including those who run the market.”
Among those marking a week since the attack will be faith leaders including the Bishop of Fulham, the Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, and representatives from the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), brought together by the charity Muslim Aid.
The group - people of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other faiths and none - will take part in a “sunset walk” from St Paul’s Cathedral to the East London Mosque.
Muslim Aid CEO Jehangir Malik said: “We are utterly horrified about what happened to innocent people in London and Manchester. This is prompting us to remember victims of extreme violence around the world – such as nearly 70 children killed by a car bomb in Syria three months ago.
“We want to hold all the families who have lost loved ones in our hearts.”
At the Mosque, Revd Baker is expected to say: “We are walking together to remember victims of religious violence around the world and especially victims of the appalling attacks in the capital last week.
“Religious extremism is a global problem, and I would reaffirm what the Archbishop of Canterbury said last week - it is the responsibility of faith leaders to counter extremism within our ranks.
“I hope the world will take inspiration from East London, where Christians, Muslims, Jews and others live, work and worship side by side, using every day to strengthen the bonds between our communities.”