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I'm Carole, living in London, happily married and mum to two amazing boys.I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Rectal Cancer in April 2010. Surgery took place in November 2010 and I now have a permanent colostomy...Spinal mets were then diagnosed in October 2011...In January 2012 I was told of further spread to the hip area (multiple lesions)..My life expectancy is now 6-9 months. Walk alongside me on the last part of my experience with this..

Friday, 12 August 2011

What the hell happened in London?....

That was the question that many of you who emailed me asked.....What the hell is going on in London....what's the cause.....how did this happen.....etc.

For those of you outside the UK the background was as follows....Thursday, 4th August the Police shot a guy in North London. He died at the scene...
They were working with 'Operation Trident' which is a specialist group which was set up by the Met Police in London to deal solely with 'black on black crime'...in other words, they deal with black people (mainly young men) who either kill or want to kill other black (mainly young men) people.

After the shooting it was handed over for investigation to the IPCC (these are the people who independently investigate ANY shooting by the Police - not only by Operation Trident)...
Once it has been referred to the IPCC the Police are no longer able to comment for legal reasons.

The IPCC released a statement saying that the Police had shot this man after they had been fired upon and that they were investigating the incident and would report answers once their investigation had taken place.

The family of the man who was shot by police marched (with 100 of their family/friends) on the Saturday following the shooting to the Police station to demand 'answers'...
The police did not come out to give them those answers - so the friends and family staged a noisy but peaceful protest outside for a number of hours.

This protest was then hi-jacked by other young people who arrived after dark and then they took the protest to another level.
A bus was set on fire, buildings were set alight, shops were damaged and then looted. It took until the early hours to bring things under control.

Over the course of the following few evenings other areas in London then experienced large groups of several hundreds (mainly) youths rioting on the streets, burning and looting, various different areas at the same time.... Most of them who were asked by the media did not mention the death of the man during the shooting as a reason, most commented that they wanted 'stuff' from the shops 'free stuff' and they were there intending on taking it.
Others wanted to hurl abuse and items at Police officers citing their reasons as 'Police harassment' 'been stopped and searched too many times' - others wanted to 'teach the rich a lesson' - so they burnt down people's homes and small businesses that had taken years to build up and NONE of these people were 'rich'.
They were ordinary people who lost stuff whilst others just helped themselves to 'free stuff'. Of course, bigger businesses also lost stuff, large department stores had their windows smashed in and people helped themselves, large electrical chains also lost many many thousands of pounds worth of goods, a large SONY distribution centre was burnt to ashes after the looters helped themselves to what they wanted, a furniture business that had been there for almost 150 years was burnt to the ground. Sports shops and mobile phone shops were completely cleaned out of goods....

The police received 43,000 calls on Monday night and had 6,000 officers on duty. People have said 'Where were the Police?' but it doesn't take the brain of Britain to work out that they can't possibly be all over the place at the same time!
Looting attacks were organised by Blackberry messenger and twitter making it impossible for the Police to stay on top of a constantly changing situation....

So, put as simply as I can - that's what happened in London.

During this period, people lost their businesses, homes and possessions. Five people lost their lives during the unrest...one person was shot in a car in the Croydon area, three young men were killed in a hit and run incident whilst they were protecting their local community, one elderly man of 68 yrs was attacked and left with severe head injuries after attempting to put out a fire that rioters had started...he died yesterday after being on a life support machine for the past few days.

Police in London have spent the last few days knocking in people's doors and carting off those who thought they may have got away with it on the night....cctv has provided the Police with hours of useful footage and they have been busy publishing photo's and asking for the help of the public in identifying the people who took part. Some parents recognised their own children on the TV and duly handed them over to the Police....

The recent scenes of devastation were shocking to all decent people, very upsetting and disturbing.

Photo's of events in London during the riots....

After two nights of rioting in London, other areas in the UK also kicked off - namely Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham, Wolverhampton to name just a few. These are all large cities in England and all had one thing in common, the youth wanted and the youth helped themselves....
However, I have to point out that they weren't ALL teenagers/youths, some were older and had jobs (responsible jobs too)

So when people say it's because the young have been left with no jobs, no future and no hope in some cases that could well be true - we do have young people who feel forgotten about, young people who have seen the bankers rewarding themselves after bringing our country and other countries to their knees recently, MP's who have robbed us and simply apologised for their 'mistakes in accounting', young people who have heard the MP's say they can no longer get their EMA - which has meant they fall out of the education system...(EMA is a small grant paid to young people from low income families to assist with the financial side of attending college) but during the looting other types of people also took part for example a 31 yr old teaching assistant, a trainee nurse, an athlete who was supposed to be a role model for young people for the 2012 Olympics, a model....these are not 'people who have no hope' they are people who simply took advantage of the opportunity to get something for free.
I believe the main reason for the riots and looting was, put simply...... 'because we could'..........

The MP's have said all the looters are simply criminals who took part in mindless violence and will 'face the full force of the law'......I seriously doubt that we have enough prison places for them all to 'face the full force of the law' and if we also locked up the corrupt MP's and Bankers as well then there definitely wouldn't be enough space in prisons.......

Meanwhile the Police had to deal with all this mess...111 officers sustained injuries, some serious. 5 police dogs were injured during the riots too.
The MP's who robbed us during the 'expenses scandals' a while back are now planning serious financial cut-backs to the Police service. They have agreed changes to salaries, pensions and overtime for Police officers meanwhile making sure they (the MP's) will still be well looked after and receive their huge pensions/salaries and no doubt expenses for whatever they can (legally?) claim for...

So the long and short of this is, some of our inner city youth are seriously pissed off because some of them feel forgotten about - they see corruption being rewarded at high levels and even they know this is wrong...
Our Police are (patronisingly) told they are 'brilliant, brave and effective' by the same MP's who have agreed severe cuts to their salaries/pensions and overtime.
They don't have the right to strike (it's illegal for a Police officer to take strike action) so they have to just accept their lot and continue to willingly face up to the angry youth who are pissed off with everyone and everything.
Meanwhile MP's sit and talk crap, listen to no-one, and go back to their huge family homes and eat caviar and drink champagne and will no doubt give themselves a round of applause for coming home early from their (way too long) summer break and 'sorting out the mess'.....

Just as long as they realise it's not over - nothing is solved - and they better hope the Police DO continue to willingly deal with this crap - or what then?


  1. Carole,
    What a fantastic piece, and so well written!
    This is great, I would love to put this on my blog(s), naming you as the author, with your permission, of course!
    Please let me know! Great piece of work!
    YOU can have a Blue Peter Badge! LOL!

  2. Hi Carol,

    Am taking my bow as we speak LOL....of course you can put this on your blog...I've ALWAYS wanted a Blue Peter Badge (Shents, we discussed this recently eh really lol now) :)

    Am sure some people will disagree with my thoughts on things though Carol, I'm sure *someone* will think I'm 'excusing'the behaviour of young looters - which I'm absolutely not!

    I'm just recognising that we do have to accept that some things are wrong in our society right now. Especially our treatment of our Police service.

  3. Carole,

    Brilliant piece of writing and one which just about sums up the recent weekend....I too would like to link this on my blog if okay?

    On the contrary whilst you are noting reasons for looting I definitely wouldn't say you are excusing the behaviour.

    Most didn't have a reason, reasons like 'Because I can' or 'I'm getting back my taxes init' spring to mind.

    I'll bet your kids weren't involved which says something for parenting too

    Much Love

    T xx

  4. Carole thank you for explaining, so succintly, the recent 'goings on.'
    Somehow I feel this is just the beginning. Which cointry will follow?
    Thinking of you, always.

  5. Hi Chez,

    As always lovely to hear from you. I *hoped* I'd explained it quite well as some people from outside the UK were being told a completely different story by their press - it was being explained as an uprising against the police due to the 'murder' of an innocent black man, which is absolutely NOT what happened - therefore it's good to hear that my ramblings made some sense :) Hope you're coping Chez <3 xx

  6. Hey T,
    Again, no problem if you'd like to link it...I'm flattered that you guys would even want to :)

    Once upon a time I had a dream about being a journalist but didn't get my act together in time. Doubt that I'd have been clever enough anyway but it was an idea I played with..along with the idea of being a Vet (until I realised my house would have been full of animals that I couldn't bear to put to sleep)...

    Am laughing at the getting my taxes back comment, I heard that more than once from kids who had paid less than a year (if that) - whilst the rest of us have been paying most of our lives now.

    You're right, neither of my boys would be involved, Dj was outraged and thought they should all be shot on the spot, rubber bullets I add - James felt, like me, that the Police should have gone in hard and started knocking them around (just because they could...) :)

    However their approach probably was best, let the CCTV do it's job and get them all later when it's calmer.