Anarchy in the UK?
Well as i type this there are riots on the streets of London, homes and shops ablaze and shops being looted. It feels surreal to say it, especially as i have lived in London and called it my home. The places i see on the news are all too familiar and too many of my friends are a literal stone..or brick’s..throw away from the events that are unfolding.
But should we have seen this coming?
Well even Nick Clegg said there would be riots if the Conservatives got back into power (pre-coalition of course):
For months people have been protesting. We have been taking to the streets in our thousands. I have stood amongst those crowds myself, protesting at the Hardest Hit march earlier this year with YoungMinds and the ViKs against cuts to benefits which have had a huge impact on a lot of people with mental health difficulties.
There have been desperate pleas, petitions, signatures and speeches and none of it appears to have done a damn bit of good. Tuition fees still went up, benefits still got cut, the poor got even poorer. Not to mention unemployment has got to the point that earlier this year JobCentre staff were trained on how to deal with suicidal clients:
Not only this but the charities and other organisations set up to help the vulnerable and the disaffected suffered massively when the cuts came in:
“More than 2,000 charities are being forced to close services and sack staff as local authorities slash their funding, or in some cases completely withdraw it”.—2nd August 2011
It saddens me so much to see this happening and i wonder what will become of this country of ours; if this is a flash in the pan occurrence, a knee jerk and a letting off of steam or the start of something more insidious and menacing. Only time will tell i guess.
In the mean time social media is certainly proving to be something of a force of nature. Knowledge is power after all and as a closet geek (in a relationship with a very open geek) it amazes me to see the power of things such as Twitter and how much protesting has changed even in recent years. In fact Twitter has been my main source of news on the situation and i recommend it as the best way to keep up with events. It can be a very good way of keeping in touch people you are worried about too.
And for the those very much experiencing the unrest please remember to stay safe and look after yourselves and look after each other.
First published 9th August 2011: