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This morning, I decided to wear my I love London T shirt. I didn’t know that today London would be under attack by ill mannered little kids.
I followed the news and a few twitter streams because I heard the riots were coming to Hackney and indeed they did. The footage were live on BBC News and it was all just a stones throw from my home. I decided to move my car which was parked right in front of The Carhart outlet because I had a feeling that this was where these kids would want to loot. This is where you can get over sized jeans and hoodies innit!
Just as the helicopter went to get fuel and we can no longer see the live images, the rioters came running down my street.
There were about 20 at first on bikes, and running on foot with their hoodies on and some had masks on or scarf that would cover their faces. Some didn’t even try to cover their faces. They started to smash up car windscreens, throw bricks and bins into people’e properties and more and more rioters started to flood in as well as people just wanting to see…
The noise was so intense, they were all yelling and laughing at the same time, they were smashing cars – jumping on cars and kicking the windscreens in with their feet and laughing.
I watched it all in a panic, filming with my phone but trying not to be seen because they were all collecting right outside my front door, sitting on my Figaro car. They were just there, a foot away from me, laughing and destroying stuff just to act cool in front of their peers.
I was shaking, my body didn’t make sense to me anymore, it was like a tree in the wind and my only company was Twitter. I tweeted my first hand experiences, I couldn’t get hold of my mum and I made sure my dogs were locked in a room in case the looters would try to enter.
I was so scared. It was like my life was so under threat. It felt like a war. Immediately, I picked up the phone to call the police but they said they wouldn’t be able to come, that there wasn’t enough resources.
So that was it- we were just left alone to watch the rioters smash the street up and loot Carhart. They broke into the shop to steal a few pair of jeans, some jumpers and a few caps. The took and threw out their computers and stole bikes.
A couple of guys laughed in hysterics as he was jumping up and down on an old convertible MG and eventually set the car alight.
I called the fire brigade, my voice shaking and my number dyslexia hit me bad. I kept dialling 777 and not being able to get through. The panic – the stress – the fire.
The street eventually turned black and this made the boys hang back and clear the street because the fumes were strong – The fire brigade (when I figured it was 999) asked me in detail what was happening – they told me to go and have a look! I said, I don’t think so – I am not stepping outside, they are literally outside!
The fire brigade never turned up.
After about a long long hour or hour and half, about 6 riot police turned up and stood afar at the top of the road to make sure no one else was entering. They couldn’t do anything, there were too few of them! And there were spectators – we were all spectators just looking in complete horror – police intervention would have made it completely worse.
We couldn’t do anything – what is there to do? Your head would be smashed in. But watch as they destroy things for a laugh.
They walked around as if they were themselves spectators. There were a couple of guys on bikes, ordering people to leave or to move on.
And eventually they did – they stood on one side of the fire and the riot police stood on the other. My neighbours and I were in between with the British press. After 2 hours, our ordeal was over.
Our noses were all black from the smoke and we watched our neighbour’s car burn to its skeleton. He is a guy whose never around – he parks his car somewhere for months – I wonder if he will find out in the news – his beloved MG bare on the front pages of all the national press.
This was nothing compared to what happened later to the rest of London – homes and buildings set alight and so many people have lost many things, while these boys go home with some new jeans, laughing with the price tag hanging off their necks.
I love London. My thoughts are with all those effected, hopefully not too harmed. My heart breaks.
its hard to imagine what other people in the world have to go through with wars that go on forever and ever in their countries all the time.