Responding to the terrorist bombing in Manchester, Communist Party general secretary Robert Griffiths said today (May 23):

"Britain's communists extend the hand of solidarity to all the families and friends of the young people cruelly targeted in the barbarous attack at the Manchester Arena.

No cause can justify the deliberate mass murder of ordinary people, whether in Manchester, Paris, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Israel or Yemen.

We salute the selfless efforts of the emergency services: the staff of the eight hospitals who have worked through the night and of the ambulance, fire and police services. Their courage and dedication puts to shame the hypocrisy of politicians who have been busy cutting public sector wages and services for the past seven years.

We echo Mayor Andy Burnham's unifying and working class response, calling on all parts of the local community to pull together. Last night, Mancunians did just that, opening their family homes to the injured and lost, with cab drivers ferrying concert goers away for free in their taxis.

It's already clear that various highly publicised programmes to 'counter terrorism' are not working. A change of direction is needed with all parts of the community, including trade unions, actively engaged in bringing workers and their families together. Above all what's required is a government which rebuilds communities, promotes jobs especially for the young, builds houses, funds education and pursues a foreign policy for peace, democratic rights and social progress in the Middle East in place of imperialist subversion and sectarian fundamentalism.

In the coming days, Manchester communists will actively support public manifestations of solidarity which seek to unite Mancunians of all nationalities and of all religious faiths and none".

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