UK Riots

So this week has been overtaken by riots. People have called me from back home to ask me how I am, if I am OK and that it all looks terrible on the news, cars burning, shops being looted, people on buses being terrorised.  
To be honest, I didn’t even register anything properly until Monday when my whole office was talking about it. I hadn’t been watching the news and so I didn’t see any footage. As far as I was concerned the riots seemed like they weren’t happening. I generally avoid the news, because it just makes me depressed and because sometimes by not knowing what’s going on I can live in happy oblivion.
If anything really big happens, I usually get informed of it through my boyfriend or people around me, and even this time, I couldn’t help catching glimpses of shops in flames and report from various people around me about what they saw.
By the end of Monday evening there was a tense atmosphere at work and everyone seemed anxious to get home early, not knowing what that night will bring. There were reports of looting, burning down shops and cars, mugging and attacking people. Apparently even some shops quite near me had been smashed, but I had not seen or heard anything with my own eyes.By Wednesday, more police forces were sent to the streets and that made the riots cease in London but they had not started moving to other cities in the UK, such as Manchester and Birmingham.
The riots had bought a mixture of reactions amongst the people I know and everyone was asking, why did this happen? Why they doing this? For me, the riots had straight from the beginning reminded me of what happened in France in 2005. There also, the riots were sparked by two innocent young men, who belonged to the disadvantaged immigrant population of France who were electrocuted when they were hiding from the police, which they thought would start harassing them.
Similarly, here in the UK a man of African heritage, Mark Duggan was shot by the police in a car. The circumstances seemed strange and the police at first said that Duggan had tried to shoot them and they defended themselves, but later they said that this was perhaps not completely the case. Duggan’s family also complained that the police had told them something else behind closed doors and then gave a conflicting report to the media and failed to keep the family informed.
Because of this Duggan’s family and friends started protesting outside the police station on Tottenham High Road, they wanted the police to explain to them what had happened. They waited there for hours for a senior official to go and speak to them. After this a teenage girl was allegedly attacked by a police officer for verbally abusing him. Shortly afterwards a group peeled away and set fire to two police cars and this is what sparked the riots across Britain.
Debates were sparked about whose fault was this? Was it society’s fault for failing the children of immigrants and other disadvantaged youth, who are still less educated and unemployment is rife amongst them, by not supporting them enough? Was it because they are being discriminated against by the police, by society and by employers and they were bored and angry because of this? A colleague told us that she had seen a black guy being harassed on the underground, it seemed just because he was black and wearing a hoodie. He got angry, he hadn’t done anything, and he had already been stopped three times that day on his way to work. His little son next to him was crying.
But others argued: it’s their own fault; they have to try harder to get jobs. It’s true they are disadvantaged, but if they work hard enough they too can achieve well in school and get good jobs.
All of these arguments have some truth in them. What started as a revolt against police brutality became infectious and spread amongst people, who either wanted to protest, but most of them are just hooligans who saw an opportunity to cause trouble and get away with it.
At times the police stood by and did nothing as shops were being looted. What is the point of having such a police? Either way, this feeling of being isolated and discriminated against, lack of opportunity and boredom is still here and may still lead to more unrest in the future. British employers and especially the public sector do encourage the employment of ethnic minorities, but perhaps improving access to better education is needed to  get these people in better positions in the future and so prevent something similar from happening again.
Anyway, apologies if this peace was a bit on the negative side, I usually try and write only positive stuff here. However, it is what is topical here right now, so I could not help but being influenced by it. 
Wishing you peace and love wherever you are.

About Maia

My name is Maia, I live in London, UK, and I originally come from the Czech Republic. Maia's World is my blog where I write about life in general, personal development, and about ideas, beliefs and discoveries on how to live a fuller life.
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