I came round this morning and listened. (I say come round because I've not slept in 2 nights, there are simply too many sirens surrounding our North London home). The streets were silent..... no sirens. I lifted my head and winced: massive headache.
I dragged myself up and forced paracetemol down my throat then packed a bag full of water, snacks, bin bags, gloves and set off to join 100s of other Londoners on the Riotcleanup.
As I waited for hours with crowds cheering the emergency services and waving our brooms I was not condemning 'thugs'. When I was on my knees scraping up broken glass, I was not muttering 'mindless violence' to myself. I was almost certainly not thinking we should 'clamp down harder'.
I was smiling at the residents who came out and cheered, I was high fiving the shop owner when we scrubbed the sticky alcohol off her shop floor and I was amazed at Londoners. I will not cry out for harsher policing. I do not want to see a 13 year old on the receiving end of a plastic bullet, even if they are tearing apart our beautiful city. Why?
Because we proved today they can't and what's more we did it with nothing more than spirit and elbow grease. Now let's hope the government hear THAT message and not the message of hate. Happy children don't make the kind of devastating mess I helped clean up today.