I have just got back from appearing on daybreak after a 5 am start (ouch!)
I've been trying my best to keep you up to date with whatever information I can regarding the riots and trying to help myself by going into town and onto the high streets and sweeping.
It came to my attention that maybe there are some distorted views across the globe of what has been happening from a couple of opinions expressed on twitter that kind of broke my heart. Just want to state though that this is in no way a confrontational blog.
I heard them branded as "exciting"early this morning. I can verify that for most of the people that were not out rioting, it was absolutely not an exciting experience. It was depressing, sickening, worrying, it made us afraid, sad and angry. The looting was not an attack on big corporations and chain stores, it was mindless and violent. Yes people were breaking into those big companies stores but in the same breath destroying independent business and burning down peoples homes, not even worrying about the fact that people were still inside. People were beaten up and mugged, clothes stolen from their bodies. 3 people in birmingham were killed last night. There were working class people out in the streets destroying the homes and lives of other working class people. And different groups of working class people defending that the next night. There are clearly political issues underlying, there is clearly a massive number of people that are excluded from society, the questions I feel need to be addressed are "why and how are they excluded?" "why do they seemingly have no conscience or sympathy towards other human beings?"and "what can we do to change that?" We simply cannot ignore what has happened and although it is a positive thing to bring about change I just can't deal with the riots being praised and labelled exciting.
What is exciting to me and what really felt amazing yesterday was how many people were out in the streets yesterday, all day and night, people literally sweeping the streets, taking the broken glass out of windows, glueing wood to broken doors, talking to strangers, from all different types of class/race/gender and backgrounds. The atmosphere was positive and protective. And last night, communities and vigilante groups and shop keepers stayed out in crowds to defend their neighbourhoods.
Please research into your opinions before you condone this, many people have been hurt and will continue to suffer because of what has happened. Yes we must listen, I want to hear ideas of what we can do to prevent this from ever happening again, I want to help, I want to get into my community and local schools and see what we can actually physically do day by day to help this change. And I will protest against government policies and injustices that exclude anyone from society, but I do not want to physically hurt an innocent person, burn a building down or destroy someone's livelihood in the process.