UK Riots, Making an impact.

For the past week there has been widespread chaos across
the country, with this comes a lot of media attention which is expected.  The world is watching, even more closely because
London will host the Olympics in less than a year.  People around the world want to know how the
politicians and the police will deal with the disturbances.  Earlier this week David Cameron has already
been called a hypocrite by Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations. He said “To
hear the Prime Minister of England describing the riots and the rioters in
England by using the term ‘gangs’, while they don’t allow us to use the same
term for the armed groups and the terrorist groups in my country – this is
hypocrisy. This is arrogance.” As the world continues to pay close attention
on the situation the authority are working hard to put an end to the chaos.
With so many people now being arrested and charged, police work tirelessly, the
courts now have so much to deal with, working overnight to put those who are guilty
away.

Since the riots there have been many questions with
not enough answers, from the initial incident with the fatal shooting of Mark
Duggan, to what was the cause of the violence from a peaceful protest, and to
what was the cause for the widespread looting and carnage.

As soon as my friend told me that someone had been
killed by the police I told him all hell will eventually break loose.  As I watched the events unfold in Tottenham all
I was thinking about was the people who had lost their homes, businesses and
about the family of Mark Duggan who are still awaiting answers.  From the start there were too many speculations
and not facts in the media, people started making assumption on what they
thought had happened, others judged Mark based on what picture the media
decided to use and people started sending the wrong message by destroying their
own communities.  When the riots started
spreading I was the least bit surprised, because of the speed information is
reached these days.

The day when the riots hit Hackney, I was supposed
to be doing a workshop with some young people.
Just before I left my house, I was watching the events unfold in Mare Street.
My reaction to the situation was to make sure the young people I work with at
the Crib youth project do not par take in the violence and looting.  It was important because we discuss
consequences of actions on a regular basis and I wanted to make sure that they
do not make any decisions that they may later on regret. I called Michael, a young
man I work with on a regular basis to make sure he was not there, his reply was
“I have worked too hard to get to where I am now, finally working and I am not
about to throw all that away just for a few things am sure if I work hard I
will eventually get what I cannot afford”.
It was good to get that reaction from him, I could not account for all, and
because there are vast amount of young people I work with.  Sadly today, I found out 1 has been arrested
for getting involved.

Seems like young people are the scapegoats to what happened,
as we all now know, there were varies types of people involved. Regardless of
the negative images of the young people who have been involved in the mayhem,
there are more young people who are keen to putting positives images to your
screens and your newspapers by achieving great things each and everyday.

While the questions continue, we here at the Crib
youth project will continue to do what we do every day which is to provide provisions
and support to young people, giving them the tools and knowledge they need to
be successful and hoping when situations arise they will use that knowledge to
make the right decisions, because only they can make it for themselves.

Am sure during the enquires about young people, promises
will be made, but we will see if all the promises are kept when the dust
settles.

For me it is simple, like my great grandma told me
in our native language Igbo, “no one person can do everything BUT everyone can
do something” which is also the same motto I use for my forthcoming book.

by Emeka