I woke up early this morning, still hearing sirens echoing through the nearby streets. Here it’s still quiet, but last night the smoke from the fires in Peckam and Lewisham were visible from our window. Out our living room window I can see a dark cloud in the north that I think might be smoke from the fire in Enfield. [update clouds clearing, it’s definitely smoke visible from 14 miles north of us]. London, and many other cities in England, are burning. Me, my flatmate, and her visiting friend are crowded in our living room listening to the news. We’re surrounded by the riots in a quiet little residential bubble. For nearly 4 hours we’ve been listening to the reports and decisions in horror. Some people are asking to bring in army troops to patrol the streets and there are rumours that a curfew might be imposed for 9p.m. tonight.
We don’t know if tonight will be calm or not. Mostly we’re just sitting and waiting. I almost went out to help the clean up crews, but there weren’t any that close too us. The clean up crews are amazing. Started up early this morning people rallied together over twitter to organise clean ups in their own neighbourhoods. Without any other incentive, than this is our home and we take pride in it, without the government asking for help, people are offering up services to rebuild. As the morning progressed I’ve seen more and more people talking about true rebuilding and tackling the real problems that have caused these riots. But even as the many citizens fill us with hope, the news reminds us that this may not be over. Last night 6,000 police were on the streets, tonight they are sending out 16,000.
The people are trying to take back their neighbourhoods and help the police catch the criminals. Someone set up a Tumblr, Catch A Looter, and people are submitting pictures with the criminals faces in full view. But how much are we all going to have to do to fix this? [photos of the riots over the last 3 days] Nick Clegg, the Prime Minister made a short statement this morning and although he didn’t disclose much, I was glad his writers told him to say this: “if you are old enough to commit these crimes you are old enough to face the punishments.”