Sunday, 7 August 2011
Saturday night and Sunday morning
Even odder than seeing police officers out in force: seeing television reporters' vans on the streets of N15. News just doesn't happen here. The last time we had a media presence so large must have been 1985 - the last time there was a riot. I guess "thousands of people of hundreds of different races, nationalities, and religions living together in Peace'n'Harmony" isn't great headline fodder, and that's the reality of life round here. Although I'm sure there are racial elements to the anger - the black community in particular has a history of being singled out for harassment and violence by the police - this is not a "race riot". People didn't go out yesterday afternoon and say, "You know what, guys, I really hate white people. Let's smash Argos!"
Everyone's out on the streets today; some are looking for friends or relatives, some just rubbernecking, like me; everyone is utterly bewildered, just trying to work out how we got here.