Huge wave of solidarity in Barcelona after terrorist attack
Citizens, private companies and public entities offer help and free services to the victims and their families
Straight after the terrorist attack on Thursday afternoon in the heart of Barcelona, the city demonstrated its huge capacity for solidarity once again.
The whole center was literally blocked by the police. Hundreds of people were trapped and could not get to where they needed to go. Hotels and tourist apartments offered free lodging. As the management of one block of tourist apartments confirmed, they were also offering places to stay for free to the families of the victims who will have to spend several days in the city. “Despite the high season, everyone is making an effort and we are getting a good response. This shows how open and generous Barcelona is,” said the president of the organization. Private citizens were also offering their homes through a campaign on Twitter under the hashtag “#Bedinbarcelona”.
Public transport was free all Thursday afternoon in Barcelona “because of the exceptional situation”. Taxi drivers transported people from the area of the attack or to hospitals for free.
At major hospitals in Barcelona and other cities long lines of people who wanted to give blood were reported. This Friday the Blood Bank organization informed that enough provisions for the victims had been collected and asked volunteers to return after a few days.
People also helped out the policemen who were watching the blocked city center for hours in the August heat by bringing them water. Shutting down the center also caused traffic jams on the beltways surrounding the city. During the evening neighbors in these areas offered water and food to the families who had been trapped in their cars for hours.
Facebook opened a page to offer and receive help. More than 7,766 offers and 62 requests have been registered.
On Friday all fourteen official lawyer associations offered free legal assistance to the victims and their families. There are two areas that have been set up at the airport for arriving families of the victims. The Barcelona city government has activated a special unit to help assist the victims’ families. This unit includes ten psychologists, social workers and further specialists.