OPINION: ‘This is a struggle for us all’

OPINION: ‘This is a struggle for us all’

by Mark Gardner, Director of Communications, CST

Mark Gardner, Director of Communications at Community Security Trust (CST)
Mark Gardner, Director of Communications at Community Security Trust (CST)

I write this while the confirmed casualty figures from the latest terrorist attacks continue to mount. How many times have we been here in recent years? Those initial reports about explosions? That first confirmation that someone has been murdered, while witnesses say that the true death toll must be far higher. Gradually, the emergency services and government officials confirm the rumour mill in the worst possible way.

And then what? At CST, we follow a sadly familiar route, turning away from TV screens and towards the job that needs doing.

As so many times before, within an hour of the first breaking news, we discussed the situation with our closest police and government contacts. This time, the attacks are not Jewish-related; and no, there is no specific intelligence relating to us here in Britain, whether against Jews or the general public. Nevertheless, of course the threat continues here also and yes, of course, the terrorists would love to make a double hit.

The attacks are in Brussels, a place where we have communal friends and partners. Rushed calls and emails follow to those whom we know work and travel through the EU district. It is an area colleagues and I know well.

We feel grateful our counterparts are safe; and have a nagging guilt for our selfishness when so many others lie dead and injured.

And now the rest of the work kicks into gear. We review, again, our security plans and procedures. We find appropriate ways to explain our response to our concerned community.

And again, we stress that our work relies upon not just the passive cooperation of our community, but upon its active partnership: because this is a struggle in which we are all involved.

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