Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Riots in London

(Just my personal account, this is in no way a reflection of facts / reality of what's happening in London right now - there are people who are experts in this and I'll leave it to them!)

On Sunday we went to see a film, then went to Leighton House Museum in the afternoon before going to church. S got two calls on Skype on his mobile phone from my mum, but the reception was pretty bad (and we were using GPS to locate the museum) so I switched on my Skype on the phone, and was told by my mum who's not in this country that there were riots in London and they saw that on telly and were deeply worried. I was like 'Huh? We have no idea what you're talking about...we're in central London so it should be fine!' and just continued with the day. We don't have the habit to get a paper at the weekends so we didn't know anything about it until that night when we went home and read all about it on BBC. 

Still, we thought it's just a single incident and it's over - the only thing is that we were scheduled to see a film in Enfield the night after and we thought, perhaps we'll see what happens next. Later that night, it's confirmed that Enfield's also hit by rioters - so the film plan's cancelled. We saw policemen at the tube station in our area but we saw nothing wrong at all in our area. On Monday I went shopping at Oxford Circus and despite the fact that rioters were there the previous night, there was no sign anything happened there. We had dinner in King's Cross that night and it's all very normal. It's only when we're back that night that we realised so many other parts of London were affected, and it's spreading to other cities as well. There were also tweets that night saying Harvey Nichols was targeted and there were police cars in the Knightsbridge area. 

I had a date with a friend in Knightsbridge on Tuesday (today) and I was texting him about the riots as he's not in London and doesn't have access to telly. We didn't think there would be a problem but this morning I got his text saying he's been asked not to go to London today. -___-" And then now we're hearing about riots in Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester... it's just crazy. 

Although I wouldn't really call this city my home (my temporary home, yes, but not that sense of home), I'm really sad to see this happening to this world-famous city. I know many of its flaws, from my rather short experience of living here, but I surely didn't expect this level of anarchy. Many people (and the media) are saying it's to do with social deprivation and inequality, as it's young people in the poorer areas who are rioting,  but I honestly don't think that's the cause - they're not doing it for a 'common cause', or 'justice', it's just blatant opportunistic thuggery and burglary. These people put their communities to shame and should all be brought to (real) justice!

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