Liverpool

Thousands attend Hillsborough vigil in Liverpool

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Media captionThousands at Hillsborough vigil sing You'll Never Walk Alone

Thirty thousand people attended a vigil in Liverpool in memory of those who died in the Hillsborough disaster.

The event followed the conclusion of the inquests into the deaths of the 96 victims in 1989, which determined the fans were unlawfully killed.

Walking hand in hand, the large crowd gathered in front of St George's Hall chanted: "Justice for the 96."

Earlier, the chief constable of South Yorkshire was suspended in the wake of the inquests' findings.

Image caption One campaigner said the authorities had picked on the wrong city

To huge cheers and applause, the families of the Hillsborough victims were led out to the front of the Plateau by Mayor Joe Anderson and Lord Mayor Tony Concepcion.

Mr Anderson said the event was a thank you to the families who had won "a tremendous battle on behalf of their loved ones and on behalf of their city."

'Dignity and determination'

He said: "Yesterday, the wall of lies was finally torn down. The real truth came out yesterday."

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Media captionThousands attend a vigil in Liverpool to remember the 96 people who died in the disaster

Mr Anderson said that it was because of the "incompetence of those in charge" who, he added, "tried to lay the blame at the door of our fans", that the 96 had lost their lives.

He added that Rupert Murdoch's newspapers "didn't even bother" to put Hillsborough on their front covers, adding they were denying the fans the "spotlight they deserve".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mayor Joe Anderson said the families had won a tremendous battle

Hillsborough campaigner Margaret Aspinall, who lost her son James, welcomed the suspension of the chief constable of South Yorkshire and warned others who were singled out for blame in the inquests.

"The system, the police force of South Yorkshire ought to be ashamed of themselves and hang their heads in shame."

She added: "Let's hope that's only the beginning of what's going to happen - we have had 27 years of sleepless nights - let's hope you are getting yours now."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The families were greeted with huge cheers

Sheila Coleman, on behalf of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, also took to the stage saying the authorities had "picked on the wrong city".

She also applauded the tenacity of families, who "never gave up hope...in the face of lies, cover up and conspiracy".

"Hope and humanity, that's what this fight for justice has brought to our society. You make me proud to be from this city," she said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Roses were laid for each of the victims

A prayer was read by Kenny Dalglish, the former Liverpool player and then manager, while the poem for the victims by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy was also read.

Huge banners with the words Truth and Justice, which include the names of all 96 who died, were unfurled at St George's Hall along with 96 lanterns.

People can lay their own tributes at St George's Plateau until the end of the week.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Dalglish was cheered by the crowd
Image copyright Christopher Furlong
Image caption Police put the turnout at 30,000 people
Image copyright PA
Image caption The crowd sang Justice For The 96
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Tributes have been laid at St George's Hall

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