A driver plowed his truck into pedestrians in Stockholm, causing authorities to shut down public transportation. How residents responded is barely reported.
This past Friday, four people were killed and over a dozen wounded when a driver plowed through pedestrians and crashed into a department store in Stockholm, Sweden. Authorities cleared the area as quickly as they could, and shut down public transportation as they searched for the perpetrator. As a result, people found themselves stranded throughout the city, unable to return to their homes or hotels.
Enter #OpenStockholm. Social media users promoted the hashtag on multiple platforms as a way to find places to stay or transportation for people stranded during the shutdown, and to link people willing to open their homes with people in need of a place to stay. Some of the messages in English include:
Something truly magical is happening. Despite the tragedy, Swedes show why they are the best in the world thru the hashtag #OpenStockholm
— OutThere (@OutThereMag) April 7, 2017
Anyone who is in Stockholm and needs a ride out of town or to/from any hospital, are welcome to contact me #openstockholm
— Anette Schang (@anette_schang) April 7, 2017
— Shqiptar Oseku (@oseku) April 7, 2017
The kindness of people ❤️ we just got picked up by a stranger who asked if we wanted a lift home. #openstockholm
— Lelav Zandi (@lelavzandi) April 7, 2017
I am safe. I got a car and an extra bed in Brotorp if it can help anyone. Let me know! #openstockholm
— Ole Utne (@OleUtne) April 7, 2017
If you are still in Stockholm and you cannot go home for now, please contact us. We leave in midsomarkransen area. #openstockholm
— Georgia Savvidou (@geo_savvidou) April 7, 2017
— Henrik Ingo (@h_ingo) April 7, 2017
Facebook users also started a group to help people in Stockholm connect that weren’t using Twitter.
There were some political messages passed around using the hashtag, but for the most part the messages were like the ones above; simple offers to care for others in the immediate aftermath of the tragic attack. There’s always time enough to try to affix blame after a horrible event like this one. But it warms the heart to see Stockholm’s residents helping each other, setting aside the other issues until they had made sure everyone was safe and had got where they needed to go. Traditional media outlets aren’t covering these stories much, if at all, but the unity displayed at a time of national tragedy is important to cover too.