Watching the news unfolding in London Town tonight has shown a real cause for concern, only mere nights after the horrendous damage caused by looters rioting in several areas of the city over the weekend, more damage is being caused in North and East London area: with Hackney seeming to be bearing the brunt of it at the moment with riots breaking out and more looting. What started off as a peaceful march across North London for justice for Mark Duggan has been manipulated for their own gain, the rioters fuelled, it seems, not by some noble cause but more the excitement and lust of being able to wreak havoc, rob and damage everything they can lay their hands on without fear of being caught. As I write this now, I can’t help feel concerned about the opportunistic nature of these criminals as they loot and damage in such a reckless manner, and the feeling that this is over yet. I agree wholeheartedly with the headline I saw in today’s Metro – ‘Not in our Name’ – and damn right it isn’t, not in the names of London city and our residents that you shall get away with this, you barbarians. Being organised by online social networks and BB messaging (by gad that came to bite us on the bum didn’t it?), this unlikely accomplice for the rioters makes it harder for them to track – unless you’re stupid enough to post pictures of yourself with your plunderage that is.
There is a buzz in the air, and a tense worry of how far this will escalate, as we watch the police force take the brunt of the violence – police cars are being smashed and buses are being abandoned as they are set upon by eager youths in their frenzied madness trying to bush back the barriers. And it’s amazing how quickly the online world will react, Facebook and Twitter statuses among several news, social and other websites have already erupted in their sea of rumours andinformation (have a look at, for example, “www.ishackneyriotingyet.com giving live updates, as well as warning that scaremongering never helped anyone, and that “Twitter never started these riots, twits did”). The acts in Hackney apparently stemmed from offence being taken to stop and search random citizens, the reaction of which has resulted in this. By this logic, I am deeply offended by everything and am going to riot, torch and loot Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and McDonald’s because somehow it is everybody else’s fault but mine. London, apparently, is made up of touchy hooligans who live for these moments. Meanwhile Mayor Boris Johnson is being urged to return home (despite his assurances that the police can handle it without him – who’s not getting voted for Mayor next year, hmmm?), and it seems almost poetic that he announced that he is coming home in the updated news that fireworks are being set off in the streets – to welcome him home I hope.
Let us hope this mindless violence is ended as abruptly as its started, before the good name of London city is damaged along with it’s architecture and businesses. The shops around me are closing early, offices are being evacuated and the police nearly powerless against these youths, and it’s them that I feel sorry for. It is the police who have to hold back this madness before it becomes even more dangerous, and contrary to everyone urging them to “open up a can of whupass on them” they cannot act as rashly as the rioters, as they are under huge scrutiny in the public eye, well aware that any violence on their part could make the situation worsen. Who knows how the evening will unfold in all of this.
Stay safe Londoners, and try not to listen to the song of police sirens outside.