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The History Of The ‘We Are Not Afraid’ Image

“Yesterday, an act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy”

via Twitter

The aim of terrorism is to provoke fear, uncertainty, and to challenge the boundaries of open societies. In the United States, after the recent attacks, Donald Trump played on people’s fears by stoking anti-Muslim hatred and attempting to ban them from entering the county. But, in the wake of Wednesday’s a terrorist attack in London, British people have been sharing a meme that stands firmly against xenophobia and fear. It’s a London Underground sign that says “We Are Not Afraid.”

Wednesday, Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, repeated these words of defiance in a speech to Parliament:

Yesterday, an act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy. But today, we meet as normal, as generations have done before us and as future generations will continue to do, to deliver a simple message: ‘We are not afraid. And our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism.’ And we meet here in the oldest of all Parliaments because we know that democracy and the values it entails will always prevail.”

The image has also been shared by tens of thousands of people on social media over the past two days. But it was originally created in response to the July 2005 attack in which four suicide bombers killed 52 people in London. A week after the attack, Alfie Dennen, a London graphic designer, created the image, printed it on stickers, and passed them out to travelers in the London Underground. “The passengers to whom I gave them, and the numerous London Underground staff and police on duty, were universally willing to wear them; a contribution to a day of solidarity for Londoners of every creed and walk of life,” he wrote on his Flickr page.

More inspiring messages have also been appearing in the London Underground after the attacks:

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