Last night was the third night of unrest and rioting on British streets. London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol and Nottingham city centres have been affected. Local people have had their honest burnt, shops have been looted and people and businesses hurt. Last night a man died having been shot in a car. Today on the local news there is talk of the rioting moving a lot closer to home. Yes it might be on our doorstep.
What is it all about.? The scenes are shocking and so is the terror and distress experienced by those living and working in the area. People are talking of bringing the army in, using water cannons to disperse the rioters. The Government talk of stringent measures and upholding the full force of the law. Crime and Punishment is alive and kicking with a petrol can it its hand.
The politics of recession, race and poverty cannot be ignored. The trigger event was the death of a young man shot by the police earlier this week and a peaceful pritestwhich got out of hand / was exploited by those with an axe to grind or a thirst for violence. We have seen this before when recession and cuts impact most on those with the least.
And yet. Violence and struggle have always been one wing of the movement of dissent. Whether it be small direct action groups, rebellion and riot or civil wars. But in the middle of it all lives get torn apart. people get hurt. Die. Lose their livelihoods or their playground, their school or the corner shop. Communities hunker down, batten the doors and stay inside. No-one wants to live in fear.
Know where your kids are. Know what matters to them and what they have to say. Find ways to hear their voices.
Hear Cammila Batmangelidh who works with kids on the streets of London every day,
f this is a war, the enemy, on the face of it, are the “lawless”, the defenders are the law-abiding. An absence of morality can easily be found in the rioters and looters. How, we ask, could they attack their own community with such disregard? But the young people would reply “easily”, because they feel they don’t actually belong to the community. Community, they would say, has nothing to offer them. Instead, for years they have experienced themselves cut adrift from civil society’s legitimate structures. Society relies on collaborative behaviour; individuals are held accountable because belonging brings personal benefit. Fear or shame of being alienated keeps most of us pro-social.
please read this and pray for peace on our streets.
Posted from WordPress for Android