On Friday Sweden was struck by an act of terror on Drottninggatan in Stockholm. An act of terror intended to spread fear and hatred. I was at Brussels Airport when it happened and followed the events via news reports and Messenger posts from my daughter who, like many others, was running terrified on the streets of Stockholm. I was shocked – this was happening in Sweden. Yet in the midst of all this, something wonderful happened. People opened their homes to those who couldn’t get home, offered pizza or a lift. This weekend, tens of thousands gathered on Drottninggatan and at Sergels torg to show their sympathy for the victims and to grieve together. Sweden is coming together and standing up for the values that we all too often take for granted – our freedom, our democracy and our open society.
Unfortunately, the attack in Stockholm is not an isolated event. Last year violence hit Istanbul, Nice and Brussels, recently London and St Petersburg were struck and yesterday, Sunday, two attacks took place in Egypt, resulting in many deaths and injuries. Uppsala University is international – we have students, researchers, employees from all over the world. And we have students and staff members around the world.
The government has announced a minute’s silence today, Monday 10 April, at 12.00. The University will fly the flag at half-mast and we will gather where we can in our departments and campus areas. At today’s meeting of the Management Council, we will suspend proceedings at 12.00 to honour the victims of terror both in Stockholm and in other places around the world.