I thought it was summer. It seems it is The English Spring. I was in Tottenham. The streets were cordoned off, police were waving traffic away. I went to see my friend David Akinsanya who told me that a young black man had been shot dead by the police. David was the first journalist on the scene. It happened yards from where he lives. It was Friday. David had already given a newspaper interview about the incident but the story was gathering so David plus the journalist and I spent the afternoon picking wild blackberries by the canal beneath where the killing occurred. On Saturday I flew to Australia shortly before the riots began. Heathrow Singapore Melbourne Adelaide. I’m in in an apartment hotel. At 4am this Tuesday morning I receive news that London is burning
As I watch the news the descriptive language changes from “riots were sparked off by the shooting of a young black man” to Theresa May’s statement “this is sheer criminality” and soon enough “recreational rioting”. If it is “sheer criminality” why didn’t it happen before the killing of a young black man in Tottenham. “Criminality” was how oppressive regimes described the rioting youth of The Arab Spring. These young people are not calling for a change in government or authority, not in words but what of the actions? The bankers screwed over community whose high streets are sold out to the highest bidder stripping them of individuality. The police have been proved corrupt in their abuse of the common man and woman, the newspapers are proved corrupt in manipulating the peoples politicians. It wouldn't be unfair to say that society is under immense strain. Why in this environment would there NOT be riots by youth in particular?