Spending another morning watching the news, feeling greatful that I live in a small town in Scotland. The riots that have gripped various parts of England. These are riots, which don’t have the expected mood of ‘normal’ riots. By this, I mean rather than protesting and shouting at police, they are burning down shops and looting on a level never seen in the UK.
The people doing the looting, are described as being young people (teenagers/ early 20s). People who seem to show a complete disregard for their surroundings. What makes people want to torch their own community, and destroy lives? The protests originally started because a young guy was shot by police in Tottenham in London. The peaceful protest that occured afterwards, was to march to the local police station. As with many peaceful protests, others appear to have hijacked the cause, and started to riot.
I don’t claim to know the ins and outs of this, but I feel the need to show my own thoughts on the situation. First off, no matter what the reasoning is behind the disturbances, they are wrong, and should never, ever be tolerated. People’s lives have been destroyed, and now people are being killed to protect their own property. I feel for the people affected, and is it mindless. The shops being targeted have ‘high value products’, like phone shops or sportswear shops. The shops are being destroyed, and some have been set fire too. With people losing businesses generations old within a matter of hours.
I do think there is a lot of issues obviously needing tackled. Yes, the government do appear to have failed to help certain areas in the UK, but is there really any reason to react in such a way, that people are scared to live in their own home. I think that there is a distinct lack of respect in communities. The problems started in my generation, where kids rights were deemed more important than the law. You couldn’t keep kids after school, because they’d miss their bus. Parents who punished their kids, could be threatened of cruelty. The boundaries that people had became blurred, as no big sense of authority was present. Police are now scared to lose their job, if they act harshly. They are the LAW INFORCERS. If you break the law, the police have every right to smack you with a baton if you act like you are endangering others.
But arresting the people responsible isn’t going to fix what are underlying issues. Over the last 10-15 years, the destruction of Youth Centres to build supermarkets and private housing has destroyed what community was left. It is happening in every city in the UK, hearts of communities teared out so that the big corporations and richer commuters move in. Why should everything representive of the people who have intruded on these communities not be destroyed? When you think about your own community, the towns and cities near you, you know of old factories, apartment blocks, community centres being flattened for new housing and supermarkets. You can understand why people are getting upset and annoyed. The poorer classes are moved out the way so that people with more money can move into their Identi-kit houses.
The housing developers are circling, to build their new estates around my town. It leaves other local things in question, as sport fields, parks and community centres look to be the site for the new developments. I can see the areas I spent my childhood being taken from the people who have lived here for generations. The local people, are being shunned for the council to make money selling of land for houses. That makes my blood boil. And this is happening on a large degree in almost every town in the UK. When you look at this way, you can maybe understand why people feel helpless. Why they want to make those who have money and what they don’t, suffer.
I in no way condone the looting, just saying that they are no different from anyone else. But if people are feeling like they are giving the people who are destroying the communities, grief, maybe it make more join in. These riots have been a long-time coming, and people are shocked at the damage being done, but not too shocked at there are disturbances occuring.
Help the people affected, make the offenders see who they have hurt, make them apologise. But, don’t mark every youth in poorer areas the same. Don’t start a class (race) war of ‘them and us’. Don’t think that this will simply go away in a few nights.
Please look after each other out there.