Woolwich attack: ASLEF statement

23 May 2013

Mick Whelan, the general secretary of the train drivers’ union ASLEF made this statement on the death of an innocent man in a Woolwich street yesterday.

ASLEF is appalled at the attack on an innocent man by two demented individuals in south London yesterday. We offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends who will have to endure this tragic loss.

At the same time we are disgusted by right wing groups who are callously exploiting this personal tragedy for their own ends. This was not the action of any community or religion. It was an inexplicable deed carried out by two sick and unbalanced mad men. To portray it in any other terms is a cold-hearted and evil insult to the murdered man.

He was killed by insane individuals representing no one except their own delusions. To suggest otherwise is a disgusting exploitation of the tragedy.

Our union is horrified at the intrusive and sensational way the media has covered yesterday’s tragedy. The fact is that an innocent man was murdered in the street by sick lunatics. To introduce racial or religious motives or invent a non-existent conspiracy is blatant distortion. To stir up hatred in order to sell newspapers or advertising is perverse.

ASLEF is committed to a just and tolerant society without prejudice or conflict. We condemn without reservation all those who seek to distort and exploit yesterday’s events for their own ends.

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