Wednesday, 10 August 2011

It's been a funny few days!

Last week everything was as normal and then bam panic on the streets of London! (and Birmingham and now Manchester and other places!)
Being (relatively) young I've never experienced anything like this before, it was very frightening. Not that I thought anything would happen to me (I live in a very middle class area away from Wimbledon town centre so I wasn't really at much of a risk) but just because it's a really horrible situation to be in. I have friends who could have been in danger (thankfully everyone is ok), two of them could see burning buildings and the gangs from their windows. It also spread closer and closer to home, hitting Colliers Wood on monday evening and then yesterday the shops in Wimbledon were evacuated by the police as a precaution. Yes, the extent of the rioting in Wimbledon was a single bin set on fire but it's just weird to know that your local town is actually being evacuated and protected by police.
The whole thing is scary and senseless and just appalling.

However the thing that has struck me most about the whole situation is just how much it brings out the best and the worst of people. And I don't just mean the obvious looting/community spirit. I've seen some people become hideously right-wing and been reacted to in a hostile manner because I can empathise with the kids doing these things. Does that mean I agree with them? No, obviously not. What they're doing is hideous and criminal and wrong and they need to be punished. However I just don't believe that people just suddenly decide to go out looting for fun, something happened to make it start, there was a catalyst and things need to be done by the government to make sure this doesn't happen again. And by that I don't mean 'shoot the hoodies' as I've seen people suggesting. When people have everything taken away from them it's inevitable that they're going to strike out. Of course that doesn't make it right, but it's happened before (hello 70s and 80s!) and will happen again if nothing changes to make things better for the people living below the breadline.

However I have also been so moved by peoples love and kindness. The people who have banded together to clean up their communities are so so amazing and I wish I could have helped. And so many people have just so supportive. Thank you so much to everyone who has emailed/tweeted/facebooked me checking that my family and I are ok. It's really so touching to know that people care. And I know it's not just for me, I've seen wonderful spirit all over where people are banding together and sending their love and wishes and prayers to people they've never met and  probably never will. It's amazing and wonderful and makes me feel very sappy.

I hope all my readers are safe and happy today


  1. Reading about the riots I can also empathize with the kids doing that. We work at poor communities when we do internship and, honestly, it is hard not to get revolted and mad at everything when every single right you have is denied. When you can't study, you can barely buy food, and you aren't valued for what you are but for what you have, wear and show.
    Rioting might not be the best solution, but it must be hard to think of other options. Sometimes it seems nothing can be done. Sadly, rioting not only is not going to work but will put more people against them and more rights will be denied, and people wil feel like that's justice.

    I hope you and your family are safe and I hope everyone that was attacked will get help to get everything back and that their suffering will be comforted.

    It pains me to see both sides: the ones making the riot and the ones suffering with it.

    I hope this will end soon.

  2. Does bring to mind some appropriate Clash lyrics = "let fury have the hour, anger can be power / don't you know that you can use it?" but there are better ways of dealing with the anger and frustration than destroying your own town.

    Living through a town ravaged, being under martial law, and having to rebuild sucks. It's made worse when residents know their own are responsible.

    Won't be the last time we see this, but hoping things calm down so the reasons WHY can start to be dealt with.

  3. Stay Safe. I was scared for one of my best friends who's doing her masters in London. Thankfully she's fine. Glad you are too x

  4. I had the same reaction: it is not surprising that oppressed people are rioting. It is horrible and sad and I don't agree with what they are doing, though, of course. I guess I'm surprised that it doesn't happen more here, though (USA). But I could never say any of this better than Cacau already said it.
    On a lighter note, I did see an image of people evacuating pets out of a pet store, and some of those pets were rodents! It really warmed my heart to see that people cared enough about the animals to get them out.
    I don't necessarily believe that they were just trying to protect a 'product' either. I wasn't sure that the rescuers were employees of the pet store. But, anyway, they were saving even the RATS! I think ratties are priceless and I would walk through fire for my rat, but I have to admit that rats cost nothing to acquire and breed super quick, so...heart. Warmed.
    AND I was very relieved that you (and family/pets) are/were out of danger!

  5. I'm glad you're okay, and I really appreciate your perspective on this - I agree with you totally. I don't condone the riots, but I do think there was something underlying them that needs to be addressed.


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