Seeing pictures of it burnt out, people frightened, ugly scenes of riot shields and crowds running amok took me right back. Right back to being a child when loud voices outside the house could be the riots spreading into our street and when a neighbour invited my mother out on a trip to join in the looting. Brixton was a few miles away but the fear spread across South London, I was the kind of child that worried and imagined the worst would erupt at any moment, I used to lay in bed worrying about German bombers FFS.
Brixton gradually got better, became buzzier in a good way, people started to see it as cool. But i'm not sure people's lives really changed or that the problem got sorted. deprivation and trouble moved elsewhere, further out to places that lacked vibrancy, facilities and access to the things that make living in London great. South London has always had a moody edge, i'm just surprised it has taken this long to finally erupt.
And so it erupts and I feel sad and anxious for many reasons. That life is only going to get tougher, people poorer and the streets more dangerous, that division and racism will rear their ugly heads. I'm still that worrier , on a bad day my visions resemble armaggedon. Now I worry for my children and what the future of Britain will hold for the young. Whatever happens our world is changing. Wether or not it descends into increased deprivation and violence depends on how we change with it. There are enough resources, knowledge, and love to go round and now is the time to share it.
I am a londoner and watching it burn was heartbreaking. I am English and I am terrified as I watch the flames spread. My family is made of different races, we share cultures and wisdoms and are richer for it. At the moment I feel pretty bleak but in these times we turn to family and I hope that as a society we defend and mend our communities together, wherever our hearts started beating.
On a lighter note, Lewes is quietly middle class as usual, but i'm now worrying about bonfire night....