No doubt, the truly traumatic London Riots are going to be on the lips of every city dweller for a while, and we won’t bore you with all the same ins and outs that the BBC has and the papers will for days to come.
Instead, Sid Phoenix from A Winter Road has a heartfelt contribution to make – beautifully written and truly touching. The High Tea cast girls hope you and your loved ones are safe, and encourage you to support the friends and neighbours who have suffered at the hands of mindless violence.
Peace and love x
An Offer Of Perspective:
To the Rioters
You are angry. You have had enough. You feel forgotten and marginalized and mistreated. You feel that the government and the police have wronged you. You hate them for it, and you are seeking your revenge.
You are not alone. Over the past few months people in countries throughout the Arab world have taken to the streets to protest the injustices their governments have perpetrated against them. I ask you to remember what happened. I ask you to remember the blood that was spilled in the streets as governments told the police to open fire upon the people.
In the four days that you have attacked London, the only person confirmed dead was killed by rioters, not police: a 26 year old man attacked in his car in Croydon. The people of London have grown more and more vocal in demanding that you be stopped by any means necessary. Some call for rubber bullets, others for the military to be involved.
Yet they are not. Why? Do we enjoy having our property attacked, our homes and businesses burned and looted? No. Are we weak? No. It is because we know that you are people. You have hopes and dreams and fears the same as we do. We remember this about you although you seem to have forgotten it about us.
We remember this, but more importantly the government remembers this. You are not stronger than the police. If they choose to they can pass out assault rifles and gun you down in the streets. This is the power they have. If you were in one of the countries where people fight for their freedoms even now, this is the power they would have used. You would not be at home with a new TV, new shoes, or a new watch. You would have been shot at, attacked, beaten, and would very possibly be lying in the roads, dead.
But that is not who we are. You live in a country that will not forget you are people. That will suffer a weekend of horrific destruction rather than sink to the levels of an authoritative regime.
So many of us want to help, want to fix the things that are wrong, and want to listen to what everyone has to say. Including you. Even now.
But you are rapidly running out of time. You cannot wantonly destroy what people have worked so hard to build without suffering the consequences. Some of you may escape punishment, but you will have made even the people who would have listened to you hate you. The government will still be in power, and you will still be at the bottom of the food chain. No amount of rioting can change that. If you continue, people will get seriously hurt. Most probably you.What is worse, you are allowing the dictators around the world to relax. They want you to keep going. They want you to force the police to clamp down. The second that they do and it appears on YouTube – the second we see water cannons, or rubber bullets, or tasers – they will turn to their people and they will say “look at what happens in England. What is the point in fighting us? They are no better.” You will have robbed the people who have fought for their lives of hope. If the police are forced to bruise you, the police elsewhere will have the excuse to kill. You will have condemned people to die by abusing the freedoms you have.
You have our attention. It is entirely up to you what you do with it. If you want violence, you will get it, and we will all lose – here and across the world. So please, before you break and smash and loot and steal and burn and destroy, think. Think about what you want to say.
We are listening.
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