I feel like I can’t carry on writing until I address the horrible things that have been happening here in the UK over the last few days in cities very close to my heart – London and Nottingham.
I’ve been distraught, confused, enlightened, angry, upset… I can’t understand how our society has degenerated this much that people have so little regard for human life, livelihood and property. I think the events of the last week have changed our country forever.
Social Media has played a huge part in the planning, reporting and mis-reporting of the riots. The thugs used BBM and Twitter to organize rioting and looting and the public have communicated news and opinions similarly. One stand-out upsetting issue for me has been the argumentative and aggressive approach to political and sociological blame that many friends and acquaintances have chosen to take, especially on Facebook where I’ve seen plenty of long (sometimes pretty militant) threads on the subject. It’s a long-standing fact that political opinion is always a touchy subject and this is why I don’t share my opinions with the world at large, nor do I engage in online defamation of other’s opinions. I believe political opinion (BNP and their casual racism aside) should be respected, we all have different upbringings and views and this is why we live in such a diverse society. I believe in debating over defaming and others’ disrespect of this has made me sad.
The UK is slowly picking itself up: the cleanup effort has been wonderful and I have donated to the cause as I can’t be there in person. I have been lucky that none of my friends have been effected by the violence and upset and also lucky that we no longer live in Dalston, one of the badly hit areas.
Life may have changed but it goes on.
For a real Londoner’s view on the riots along with an interview with some of the brave Turkish men protecting their Kingsland Road shops, see this great video report from VICE. Katie posts photographs that remind her how much she loves London, Food Stories writes about why she loves Peckham and Ivano discusses first-hand the effect these riots have on small businesses.
Photo via Viceland