London Riots

In Day to Day on August 9, 2011 at 7:06 pm


In the capital, the last few days have been ones of shock, devastation and sadness. A persistent and unwavering destruction of such a striking and inspiring city is something I never thought I would witness – even harder for me to comprehend is that this is being done by people who have grown up and lived in London communities their whole lives.

I spent much of last night keeping track of the constant updates on the news, Twitter and Facebook of the continuing violence, looting and vandalism – today was no different as my news feed gradually filled with new targets and planned attacks.  Leaving work early today, there was a general feeling of unease and upon reaching Greenwich, the boarded up shops and already smashed windows of the shops along Trafalgar road added to this.

Thankfully, messages have now turned from being helpless to fighting back – particular highlights are this woman in Hackney, who’s speech has now been viewed over a million times on Twitter, and the group of Turkish shop owners who stood guard in Stoke Newington last night. To help with the clean up now being organised by thousands of locals, follow @RiotCleanup on Twitter and find out how you can help turn the last few days around.

Some pieces that have been written over the course of the day have really struck me. The first is by Camila Batmanghelidjh , who is the founder of The Place to Be and Kids Company – a well written piece that everyone should read where she expresses her thoughts on the rioting: ‘Society relies on collaborative behaviour; individuals are held accountable because belonging brings personal benefit. Fear or shame of being alienated keeps most of us pro-social’.

Another article worth taking the time to look at is this one, where home secretary Theresa May ‘dismissed fears that deep spending cuts could undermine the ability of the police to tackle possible civil unrest, and insisted the British did not respond to austerity by rioting on the streets‘ in September 2010. A similar article was posted by the Guardian at the end of July 2011, questioning the consequences of slashing the youth services budget by 75% in the Haringey area.

One person who wasn’t too worried last night was Liz Hurley, who amidst a city in turmoil, decided to tell us what Shane Warne had for tea.


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