Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Bringing About Change

Hello all,

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.

19 comments:

  1. Kate,

    You inspired me to help people. Thanx.
    Let's stand for London!

    XoXo
    @aleferreira

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  2. It's so soul-destroying that people can't understand the heartbreak that is being caused, people's lives are being torn apart for no apparent reason. These thugs apparently want "respect", but they're not going the right way about it. I'm still in major disbelief, I'm staying in Tottenham Hale & was glued to the news as the events were unfolding. What kind of world do we live in?

    I read your blog post from yesterday about the clear up and it genuinely made me cry, it's so heartwarming and lovely to see that communities can work together in times of need. Hopefully the worst is over and we can try and get the place we live, the cities we love, back on track to how they were before.

    Lucy x
    @lucyparts

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  3. I wish more people were like you ♥ It's so good to hear that Londoners (and others, too) are gathering and taking some time to help the communities that have been affected by the riots. I want to believe there's more love than hate in this world.

    I'm travelling to London today and I must say I'm a bit scared. I hope my holiday to your beautiful city will be unforgettable for the right reasons.

    ♥: Nade

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  4. WE WANT THE POLICE TO NOW BE BASTARDS....

    If you want Britain to be safer then you have to encourage the police to be tougher on these kids 24/7 and all year round.

    It means they will take actions that don't fit into our nice liberal social chats.

    Its time to show these kids whose in control of Britain. Its time for these kids to know if they step they line they will be punished.

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  5. BEING NICE DOES NOT WORK....

    Liberal minded individuals have turn Britain into a passive state.

    If the Police, Teacher or anyone tries to discipline children these liberal watchers attach the very structure that's trying to protect them.

    I wonder how liberal they feel when their tea and local baby shop is destroyed...

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  6. To the person who commented before:

    Maybe being nice WOULD HAVE worked but I doubt that a lot of people were nice to these "children" before.
    I think it's totally unacceptable what's happening now and the police should definitely make these people stop rioting but I think it is also very important to hear them out. I would really want to know what made them that angry... From everyone of them.

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  7. Hello, first of all, let me tell you that I love your music! I may be your biggest fan here in Greece! As you may know, we here had similar, if not actually worse riots, about three years ago. These riots started because a 15 year old kid got murdered by a police officer (the trial is over now and the cop has been convicted of first degree murder)! At first, it was just a few anarchists attacking riot police, which in certain parts of Athens, is actually quite common, but in a few days, the riots got bigger and they spread all over the country! Downtown Athens in particular, was a war zone!

    I don't know exactly what happened over there, from what I can gather the riots started after someone was shot dead during a shoot out with the police, but I know what happened here! People, including other high school kids, tried to peacefully protest against police violence and the government, but soon, anarchists started rioting and clashing with the police, soon they were joined by more rioters and it wasn't long before the looting started. The looters of course weren't anarchists or political activists or whatever, they were common criminals! They saw the chaos as an opportunity and they grabbed it!

    These people have no conscience what so ever, in my opinion! The riots happened during early December and as you mention in your post, apart from major shops, companies and banks, thousands of small independent shops were utterly destroyed! Those people of course, were not able to repair their shops in time for the Christmas shopping period, so they lost a great deal of their income for that year, some were never repaired or reopened! Anarchists said that those shops were collateral damage in the war against capitalism and multinational corporations, but the truth is, that if someone benefited from all this chaos, it was the big shops! They were insured and they got repaired and returned to business in just a couple of days after the riots were over! A significant amount of the money that people would have spent in the independent businesses, ended up in the hands of the bigger ones, since the former were destroyed or closed!

    My point is that violence is utterly stupid! You can't change the world by burning it down! Especially if you claim that you want to make it a better place! You have a problem with multinational corporations? Fine, stop buying their products, support independent stores and try to get everyone you know to do the same! I'd love to see a political activist or anarchist try to explain to someone who just lost his home or livelihood, how that made the world a better place...

    Sorry for the long post! I hope the riots end soon and that there are no more victims!

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  8. Kate, about 13 years a go, in my country, the situation was more or less the same, if not worse than what is happening in yours now. Until today, I'm still heartbroken on what happened back then.

    But England is very lucky to have people like you, and others who still care to make things better.

    I hope everything will be alright in UK, and in other places in the world. You've truly inspired me to be more optimistic in coping with difficult situations. Through your songs, lyrics, words, and action.

    Thanks so much, Kate. :)

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  9. Wow, Just a short comment but seriously wow.

    It's so heartening that there are individuals like you in this world Kate.
    Watching the news reports here in Australia about the riots I have been horrified. Peaceful protests are perfectly fine but what we are seeing unfold is terrifying and disgraceful.

    Keep up spreading such a positive message.
    Once again, great post.

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  10. Whole world watches the news from UK.
    It is so unbelievable that in 21st century people may still behave like this; act like monsters.

    However, your posts are so soothing and heart-warming.You give all of your readers hope that people are good inside. That we can turn our weakness into strenght.

    From the bottom of my heart, I wish the UK lot of strenght and I hope this nightmare is going to an end.

    Greetings from Poland,
    Kath

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  11. Hiya Kate,

    Firstly, just want to say that it was great to see you on the news getting stuck in in the clean up yesterday and your twitter feeds and blog are really inspirational and heart felt.

    I was wondering if you would be interested in chatting to me when things have calmed down a bit? I'm a journalism student at Sheffield Uni and for my dissertation me and a couple of friends are making a magazine for smart, savvy women in their 20s. It would be really great to get your perspective on the riots - and the clean up! If you would like to chat, you could send me a quick email on jop10lac@sheffield.ac.uk or tweet me at @sparkoclarko Thanks very much, Lynsey Clarke xx

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  12. My hart goes out to you.The great Kate ! May peace come your way now!!!

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  13. I dont believe in violence as an answer to anything, but when such violence occurs, I find it ignorant of anyone to call it senseless. Something is wrong socially. And it doesn't matter how much you clean up, it will all be destroyed again if the issues aren't addressed.

    On another note, your work is really inspiring and I hope you continue with your compassionate clean up. I'm proud to to be your fan :)

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  14. Hey Kate,

    I'm an American student studying veterinary medicine in London. I've lived there for the past 2 years. From the moment I arrived, I fell in love with the beauty of the city and the beauty of the English people. I have never felt so happy and so accepted in a country as I have in England. As I'm back in the states at the moment for summer holidays, I haven't seen the riots firsthand, but I've been glued to the news broadcasts covering them since they began. It sickens me and it saddens me. Looting, mugging, committing arson, destroying private businesses and the lives of fellow working class families - Those actions are not the marks of true English character. What you are doing, with your blogs and your announcements for assistance in donating and helping to take back the city; what those affected citizens are doing, bravely leaving their homes to go out and clean their streets; and what the police are doing, working 30 hours straight in an attempt to bring some order and to prevent further destruction without showing even a trace of fear or exhaustion - THOSE actions are true marks of English character. I see that there is a strong spirit of hope in, not only London, but all cities affected by these riots. I only wish I could be there in person to help with the clean up. Please keep reminding the public to keep their heads held high. Good will prevail. It always does. And believe me, these mindless fools are getting NO support on this end of the "pond." We're with you all the way.

    Lauren x

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  15. I can't believe there are people around the globe thinking it would be exciting.

    From all the way on the other side of the globe here, the news I've been exposed to about this situation has only disgusted me from the lack of consideration being displayed by these hooligans. Excitement has not crossed my mind once. Good to know what you're experiencing over there at any rate, instead of some potentially warped media view.

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  16. thnx Kate....

    I am not in london at the moment, as I am in hungary!! hope to see you at Sziget tomorrow!!!

    lv

    Martijn

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  17. I've been thinking about the troubles and i think whatever the excuses might be i think it comes down to a simple lack of respect. Everyone gets angry, has fustrations and wants things that are normally out of reach. Civilization is about civility, its about respect, even to those that dont respect us.

    People have tried to blame twitter, but its just a tool to be used. It lets us all share our hopes and fears and to talk. And it lets us know that old friends we care about are ok. talking and communication are always part of the solution, not the problem. Always.

    Dolbyn

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  18. You are such an amazing and inspiring person, not only as a musician but also as an individal; a role model for girls everywhere.

    Your music has always inspired me, but now I have new reasons to look up to you.

    Stay awesome.
    -Hannah

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  19. Nice experience :) I'm not all that eager to poke my nose into other people's business, just wanted to let you know that proofreading-services.org/professional.php announce a big sale and discounts on the orders!

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