When the London Riots happened on the 4th August, I remember saying to myself ‘ I knew this would happen.’ Maybe I was being pessimistic, maybe I was foreseeing the future, but one thing is for sure, people are unhappy. Particularly people form deprived areas! As a working class London born girl, trying to survive in an Upper Class playground, I have always analysed the effect that social class has on an individual….mainly because I have always been obsessed with living the upstairs life rather than the downstairs squalor.
So when the London Riots happened immediately, like everyone else I began to review the situations based on facts:
Thursday 4th August: 18:15 BST – Mark Duggan, 29, is shot dead by police at Ferry Lane, Tottenham.
The death occurs during an operation where specialist firearm officers and officers from Operation Trident, the unit which deals with gun crime in the African and Caribbean communities, are attempting to carry out an arrest. Mr Duggan is a passenger in a minicab and is shot after an apparent exchange of fire. A police officer’s radio is later found to have a bullet lodged in it.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) announces it will investigate the incident and later says it believes two shots were fired by police. It also confirms that an illegal firearm was recovered from the scene.
Mark Duggan, was not carrying a fire arm, so therefore the police where not in danger of their life, so therefore had no reason to shoot Mark dead!
Saturday 6th August: 17:00 BST – Around 300 people gather outside Tottenham police station after marching from Broadwater Farm estate. They say they want “justice” for Mr Duggan and his family.
20:20 BST –The violence begins as bottles are thrown at two patrol cars close to the police station. One of the vehicles is set alight, while the other is pushed into the middle of the road before also being torched.
FACT: Following from the Tottenham riots on Saturday 6th August Violence escalates and spreads to other parts of London and other national cities.
FACT: Most youths that participated in the London Riots are of working class backgrounds.
FACT: Most youths that participated in the London Riots are of Black African or Black Caribbean heritage????
Is the last statement fact or fiction?
The media has chosen to display footage which clearly leads to the assumption that majority of those involved, were of Black African and Black Caribbean heritage. An unfortunate fact or creative manipulation?
Many working class individuals are frustrate with the Tory Government and it’s need to support the Upper Classes. Many of the areas that were effected by the riots, are areas of deprivation, areas which are ethnically mixed.
My theory is this:
As a second generation African, I have been acquainted with a gentleman named MR. STRUGGLE, MR. STRUGGLE became a friend/ associate of my parents when they first came from Ghana to London. When they first arrived they had no property, no inheritance but worked 2-3 jobs , striving towards providing a good future for their kids. As a result growing up, although I had financial support from my parents, they were not always physically there for me. This is understandable as they were working their socks off to ensure that they could provide for their kids and support my creativity from an early age. However as an affect, hardly spending alot of time with my parents caused me to confide in my friends and siblings. When I got to a point when I began to understand the value of money, I was annoyed by my situation. It made me so angry, to see my parents work so hard constantly and still be friends with MR. STRUGGLE. I wanted to earn quick money, I wanted to be just as rich as the girls that were in my ballet class (I attended the the Royal Academy of Dance). It was so easy at that point in my life to earn money via illegal ways or have a baby just so I can get my free flat and benefits. However my parents journey had a positive effect on me, their experiences inspired me to see the light at the end of a tunnel, it made me fight against the negative effects of growing up within a borough which was filled with so much negativity. In the sense that in most deprived areas……everyone is struggling = frustration = anger= negative energy= riots.
You look at areas such as Chelsea, Westminster and no riots happened there because there is a form of positive energy evident in those areas. People are not struggling, people know of successful individuals which contributes to a positive energy = no riots.
The fact that an individual is struggling or frustrated does not excuse selfish and immoral behaviour as demonstrated by the young people who participated in the riots. But it has highlighted the divide between the working classes and the upper classes.
In my opinion the riots was not a political statement in light of black youth development in Britain, it was a social revolution of CLASS…..it just happens that most of the footage that the media has shown us (the public) involves black people.
It makes me so angry when individuals of the British public, portray black people to always be at the root of evil. Having seen a national figure such as David Starkey make such ignorant remarks in regards to the London Riots and London’s diversity, it makes me ask question whether the media’s coverage of the riots instigates a racial divide in society.
The only evil that I can see is the fact that the UK is run by men who belong to the old school boys network, until this network is eradicated people are always going to feel the need to riot. Why? Well lets face it, what does David Cameron know about the real people of Britain?
I started this blog post mentioning Mark Duggan and I will end on this note:
Mark Duggan, may you rest in peace and may your family continue to fight for your justice!
I am not a writer, just a blabber, a girl that asks many questions but never knows how to collate the answers. Just a normal girl with nothing more to say, than words that mean nothing but say something.