Over the last few days, the city I have loved for over twenty years has began to implode! People have taken to the streets in the most violent ways possible, the streets of London are on fire! Watching in disbelief as it all unfolds in many boroughs of this City. Hackney being the nearest to where I live, not quite believing this is actually happening!
Its the summer of discontent and young people have had enough and taken the streets to what appears in some respects to be protesting. But on another level it looks like pure violence aimed at those that are unltimately innocent shop keepers.These questions I have to ask, are they really trying to make a point or is this just an opportunity to wreck the livelihoods of those people who are struggling to make a living. On that level I cannot quite understand why this would be the main focus, on innocent people as opposed to those that they may want direct their anger at!
I read one article where one young man said that a few weeks ago they protested peacefully in regard to their grievances but gaining no media attention. On the evening of the Tottenham events the Worlds Media are eager to get the best coverage possible and as this young man continued to say they had gotten the response they were looking for. So is it about their voices not being heard?? Yet when they take to the streets with violent acts, the government wakes up to what is the real cause. People are angry and making assumptions, which in all honesty I can understand this, but there is a bigger picture and it needs to be addressed.
I live in one of the poorest boroughs in London, one that has high unemployment and young people spend a lot of time hanging on the streets with nothing to do. They have no future and this spreads to all of our communities in such a way that it becomes like an infection and one where we all feel afraid to intervene. I am not condoning what has happened but I want to understand, even if those with a legitimate reason to take the law into their own hands. I have seen some scenes of unacceptable behaviour. One particular incident that sticks in my mind is of a young man sitting on the floor with a bloodied nose, obviously in some distress, and a group of young men appear to be offering him help but then proceed to empty the contents of his rucksack and run off! Leaving this young person, bewildered and vulnerable…is that about protest? that to me selfish act of violence. I just feel there are two sides to every story and we cannot just assume that everyone really was there to protest?
There are many questions I wish to pose and for those of us who care about our communities on how we can mend our broken society. Cameron loves to spout on about this Big Society, too easy to create a new buzz word or tick another box rather than really looking at the bigger picture. My question would be to the government who were to quick to offer to bail out the banks with the peoples money, the average Joe! While we are all trying to survive in these harsh economic times. I ask them to put their money where their mouths are and acutally give back to those communities that need it most! And let those fat cats sitting up in their ivory towers, paying themselves astronomical bonuses each year, while the people try to survive. How about they dig deep into those bottomless pockets to do the same!
I feel extremely angered by what has occurred and feel compelled to express this creatively!