Tuesday 9 August 2011


I usually try, as much as I can, to keep real life off this blog, but not today. I'm sure I wasn't the only one transfixed by the live news feed covering the London riots. Please, let's get one thing straight. This is NOT civil unrest. This is wanton violence. Gangs of thugs are waging a war of terror on local communities. This is not a protest as a protest has a cause for which it is campaigning. This does not. If it were, I wager we'd be less likely to see shops being broken into and looted. Making it a point to clear out an electronics shop should not be your priority if you have something important you want society to hear. Someone last night was having a go at me, saying that it was all down to the global economy. What nonsense.

Luckily the boroughs in which I live and work have been thus far unaffected, but I do know people who have been near the trouble. I hesitate to call it trouble since it is far, far worse than that, but I'm not sure what else I should call it. Sufficeth to say, they're all okay, but there are so many who aren't. As a result, all the stuff I've been stockpiling to go to charity when I move will now be going to those made homeless by these riots. If you want to do the same, you can take things to Tottenham Green Leisure Centre at 1 Philip Lane, N15.

If you know vulnerable people in London, please, go and check on them. They might be perfectly safe but they might be scared. It goes without saying but if you hear of trouble brewing, don't go to see what's going on. I was shocked by the number of onlookers at Mare Street in Hackney, as if they were wanting to see something kick off between the rioters and the police.

Also, if you live in London, follow @RiotCleanUp on Twitter to find out how you can help. I've been utterly struck by how quickly Londoners have swung into action, be it the groups standing up to the rioters and keeping their communities safe (let's hear it for the boys who held Dalston!) or those who've pledged to help clean up the mess. Personally, I'd make those who've been arrested for looting get their hands dirty, but that's just me.

I've never considered myself a Londoner, always a Geordie just living here, but I don't like what they're doing to the city. As the media keep pointing out, we shouldn't see scenes like these in London - but nor should we see them ANYWHERE.


Anonymous said...

Good to see common sense and compassion being championed. The community is stronger for people campaigning a grassroots revolution to restore their town, for pride and for solidarity.
Adam B @revhappiness

Icy Sedgwick said...

It's one thing I will say about Londoners - they don't take this shit lying down. I was here on 7/7 as well and the way everyone bounced back was amazing to see. London's survived being burned to the ground by Boadicea, it's survived the Great Plague AND the Great Fire, not to mention the Blitz. The spirit lives on.

Anonymous said...

Here's hoping you don't end up with a triple post from me...here's my third try at posting a comment:

I'm a Londoner, though not by birth. London is in my soul and there is no other place for me. To see what's going on is heartbreaking, but London will survive this. It has survived so much worse than this, and it still stands, century after century, a bunch of yobs will not kill its spirit or that of its people.

Jdigits said...

Nice blog - totally agree with you, tired of hearing left wing whingers talking about the rioters as if they are working class heroes. I find that comment rather ironic as these people dont work and last i checked burning and looting does not a hero make.

This whole episode is sadly not about anything, i for one might have had considerably more inclination to support a protest if it were aimed at the institutions of government, big business and finance for the shit mess they have created that now we the tax payers have to pay for. But sadly that is not the case here, just a bunch of chavs looking to steal stuff and destroy the livelihood of hard working people

Magaly Guerrero said...

How terribly sad that people hide behind pretensions of righteousness to commit crimes, to steal and to hurt. And blaming it on the economy? How ridiculous indeed. I'm sorry things look so ugly in your London, yesterday I was reading that in my Dominican Republic some delinquents are using fast acting acid to spray on other people's necks (on jewelry) so they can break it off easy and run for it. I love my country and my people, and to read about this kind of things really hurts.

Carrie Clevenger said...

Icy, thanks for the account. I hope you stay safe, can't believe it's happening to London. Get the heck out of it soon. xxxx Carrie

Icy Sedgwick said...

I'm appalled at the scenes being shown on the BBC's live feed...these are people organising themselves with the intention of causing criminal damage and looting. I've spent all morning trying to get people to help with the clean up, or donate to those made homeless, but then I've been denounced as patronising for referring to what's going on as "mindless violence". Yes there are social causes and yes they will need to be addressed but now is not the time. I can't help thinking that putting a stop to it, and helping the victims, is currently a higher priority.

Tony Noland said...

Be well, Icy. I've been out of touch for a while, so am just now getting the scope of this ongoing violence. Appalling.

kathrynjankowski said...

Was thinking of you when I saw the scenes on TV. You're absolutely right, Icy, it's mindless violence. Looting neighborhood merchants and terrorizing citizens are NOT ways to protest economic policies (or whatever your so-called agenda happens to be).

Take care.

Icy Sedgwick said...

Tony - It's appalling how it seems to be sprouting up elsewhere. Perhaps the media should stop fanning the flames.

Kathryn - Today they set fire to a social housing office...and yet some people still point to them as being victims of society's ills. That may be so, but don't bite the hand that feeds.

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

Stay safe.

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