It started as all such things usually do, with an isolated incident on Tottenham Road, in London. One man dead and the rest left outraged. That night a riot broke out, was controlled and one would have thought that that was the last we would hear of it. But some things have a way of multiplying when one least expects it and so it was with this.
It went on and on and then some more.
For four days and nights there was looting, arson and violence on the streets of various neighbourhoods, which in fact escalated once 16,000 cops were called to police the London streets.Most of us were astonished and horrified at being able to watch (almost) real time videos where we could see hoodlums, in hoodies, trying out clothes, and shoes for size, before making away with them.But not before setting that particular shop or store ablaze, or in any case, irreparably damaged.
"Shops looted, cars and buildings burnt out, young adults in hoods on the rampage.London has woken up to street violence, and the usual narratives have emerged – punish those responsible for the violence because they are "opportunist criminals" and "disgusting thieves". The slightly more intellectually curious might blame the trouble on poor police relations or lack of policing." (Exerpt from an article in the Independent-by Camila Batmanghelidjh: Caring costs- but so do riots.")
But there are many other factors that go a long way as well.The kind of immigration policies followed by the various govts in power over the last couple of decades, coupled by the severe economic downturn tin the last three odd years, have bred all kinds of insidious feelings in the hearts and minds of the 'have nots'. This is particularly intensified if one couples them with the lure of exciting, enticing things and goods displayed in those 'touch me not' stores, where one can look, but is probably never destined to enter, leave alone purchase something.
Day 6 and things seem to be under some sort of control and I for one, would dearly love it if things got better from here on.
Let this serve as an eye opener for all those who matter and can take charge of things. It is probably still not too late to course correct- something which will have to be done with real and single minded determination. Let not politics alone be the guiding light, it will have to be a genuine sense of concern for all those who have been left on the fringes for far too long.
Always remember, they found a way to vent their frustrrations in the last week, so give them reason enough to have some kind of hope for their future.Most of all ensure that all those who have suffered at their hands now get the opportunity to go back to their way of life and living, sooner rather than later....
The moot question-How soon can it be done?