Burning, looting, shooting, rioting, robbing – you can find pictures of all that happening in London and elsewhere in the UK on the TV news or elsewhere on the internet. No need for it here too.
Instead, I have a couple of stories of bravery and people trying to make things better amidst the violence. I’m sure there are many – but here are just a few.
Try not to be put off by the subtitles below…
The woman in this video is apparently on the streets of Hackney in London. The original police shooting and subsequent arson and rioting began in the Tottenham area. Hackney is one of the areas to which the trouble has spread.
There has been lots of condemnation of the violence from TV and radio studios and the pages of newspapers. This woman is out on the streets face-to-face with the people involved. So that’s brave.
She’s angry. Her language is angry. Fair enough in the circumstances.
And here’s something else from Ealing in west London. Thre has been some trouble – not so much – in this part of the city. But somebody, apparently a woman called Libby, is trying to rally neighbours to be active in discouraging violence in the area. I’ve seen, but am unable to post, a copy of a leaflet that has been put through letterboxes, urging residents to gather to reclaim the streets and to honk their horns at anyone they see causing trouble. (Good intention – not sure if horn honking would work – often seen as a sign of solidarity.)
It’s also being reported that Sikhs and Muslims in the west of the city are organising themselves to prtect the community.
Good for al of them. One person cannot do everything. Even in a group, citizens may not be able to do enough. But they can do something.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
I saw that quotation on the back of a T-shirt being sold on Santa Monica beach by a group of activists from Veterans for Peace Los Angeles. Good thought. (Apparently US cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead said it.)
Anyway – Let’s hope for a series of evenings with heavy rain in London – to dampen both fires and riotous enthusiasm.