Hundreds of students and locals from across Wales’ capital are to hold a candlelit vigil outside Cardiff University’s main building to show “solidarity against terrorism.”
Supported by 13 of the institution’s student societies, the event’s organisers have said the vigil will pay tribute and remembrance to all the victims of recent terrorist attacks which have occurred in countries across the world, adding: “Terrorism kills without discrimination, so why should we let discrimination enter our lives?”
A board will be made available where people can write messages of strength and peace to the victims and their families. After the event, the board will be displayed in the students’ union reception so that people who were unable to attend can add messages.
Vaishnavi Sayal and Anusha Sriram, organisers of the event, described how the overall aim is to allow people from all walks of life to come together to remember that terrorism “has no religion and no humanity.”
They told the Independent: “It’s important for us to hold such a general, non-specific, and completely inclusive vigil because terrorism has gone across all social and political boundaries in today’s world.”
The pair also said terrorism can lead to “certain groups being misunderstood or viewed as indirectly responsible,” adding: “Therefore, the variety of societies that are supporting this event is to re-establish the notion of ‘oneness’ in such hard times and, hopefully, other places will follow suit to publicly show that terrorism cannot divide people so easily.”
The organisers also highlighted how the student societies involved have been “very approachable and helpful” in promoting the vigil, and said: “It just shows how strongly people agree with this sort of an event, and it was much needed and appreciated.”
Attendees on the night are expected to give speeches about their own experiences of terrorism. Harris Ali Din, president of the Pakistani Society, will be giving a speech and told the organisers he comes from a country where terror attacks are both “a daily threat and a barrier to everyday life.”
Sayal and Sriram said: “Given the recent attacks in Lahore, and earlier in Peshawar, it’s important for someone to talk from that perspective to show it affects everyone.”
Debating Society president, Usman Bukhari, told the Independent he has friends who have been affected by the terror attacks in both Paris and the Middle East, and said: “Terrorism is no longer bound by the confines of one nation’s border – it has become a global issue.”
He also added that the event gives “a moment to centre ourselves, to remember the victims and remember we’re all human.”
Cardiff University has worked alongside the organisers to help facilitate the event. Hannah Sterritt, vice president of societies, described how it was “great” to see so many societies involved, especially as it is “close to many people’s hearts.”
She said: “It should be a very special occasion, especially given the location in front of the main building of the university.”
The event will take place on Monday 11 April at 8pm, and is open to all students and non-students. Participants are encouraged to bring their own candles, however, organisers have said there will be as many provided as possible. Visit the Facebook page for more information.