Monday, 8 August 2011

London Riots

I don't know where to start. London is up in flames and there seems to be no stopping it. What started out as a peaceful protest against the questionable killing of a Tottenham man, turned into riots in Tottenham, which has now spread across most parts of London.

It is frightening for anyone in London or with family or friends in London. We don't know where to go or where to stay, what is safe, what isn't? I watch Croydon in flames, knowing that friends are living just a ten minute walk from where the fires are. We all feel anger over this reckless violence that is hurting innocent people, destroying homes, properties and businesses.
(Picture taken by my friend Woolstey, from her flat, just a few hundred metres from the mayhem in Croydon)

In all this, I feel so frustrated with the moron Home Secretary, Theresa May and the rest of the authorities for not understanding that there are underlying issues. Instead of approaching the problem from that angle, she points out that those parttaking in this will be prosecuted and focuses on praising the police. Nothing wrong in that, sure, but when you completely ignore (or are so stupid not to realise) that there are underlying issues, the problems will never die down.

Whether it was the death of Mark Duggan that started this or not, there are so many more serious issues (most likely, political, socioeconomic, class and racial and police/community tension issues) that need to be targeted:

What on earth compels the youth to get up in broad daylight and destroy everything around them, in their own communities?
How is it that they even have the time to do this?
Why is their lack of respect for authority and the police, in particular, so great that they'll do this unmasked, in daylight and purposely confront the police at any given chance?
How best can the authorities open a dialogue with this disgruntled group of people and find a long-term solution to these issues, rather than attempt to shut them up by threatening to imprison them?

London is burning, London is crying. We need to act quickly before it all goes up in flames


Raine said...

I just commented on NY's post about the 11 year old boy who is the youngest to be arrested following his involvement in the riots.

It's sad how this peaceful protest has turned into complete pandemonium. From what I've read and seen on the news, it seems to me that the majority of the rioters are kids with entirely too much time and energy on their hands with no avenues to put them to good use.

Maya Mame said...

Exactly, Raine. There have been so many cuts, that after school areas, playgrounds, swimming pools and other community areas have been closed down so these kids, literally, have nothing better to do with their time.

Add to this, severe cuts in the police force and the situation was bound to become toxic.


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