Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The weekend gone I was away doing work, before I had left I had heard of a shooting in Tottenham which had caused riots. During my time away I had not listened to the news until on Monday evening I started receiving messages from people I knew asking if I was safe and from my father telling me not to go back to London. I switched on the news to find out how bad the riots had become, how huge areas of buildings had been set on fire, gangs breaking into shops and looting. The next day people continued to message me asking if I was ok. I said it was not my side of London and that I would be fine as my area did often have a lot of trouble. However I then received one message from a friend asking if I was ok as they had heard it had gotten really bad in my area, then someone else told me it was all over the news all day. I called home and got no reply, I called Philip’s brother who told me they had broken into a lot of shops and set some cars on fire. Philip later told me his work had sent him home and my old flat mate who lives on the other side of London had had the same thing.
When I returned to London late that night I walked out of a very quiet train station on the outskirts of where I live and saw 25-30 people in hoods with bandanas over their faces; I was the only one around and I knew what they were going to start doing so I got on the bus and dialled 999 .I had never done that before but I hoped that maybe I had stopped something happening. To my disappointment my mother told me the next day that that area had been attacked last night as she saw it on the news, so either the police never showed up or they ran off and did it anyway. I returned home that night to Philip who told me he couldn’t get home from work on the Saturday night by bus as the roads were full of people rioting; the Broadway Mall was set alight, all the shops smashed, streets worth of cars smashed up, and as he made his way home he watched kids walk past him carrying TVs. The next day the supermarkets wouldn’t open and the stores were boarded up. The night I returned home locals stood on the street corners with baseball bats trying to protect their friend’s stores from chaos.