Ruwayda Mustafah is a blogger
and law student who lives in Wandsworth, south London.
Here in London, average people didn’t know what to do. We felt helpless. You can’t go out and confront the youth
who are rioting, because you could get hurt. So this cleanup is a way of saying, we are against rioting, and we love our city. It’s a way to move forward.
Last night was terrifying. I spent hours at my window, watching the shopping centre across the road. I had to call the police twice to stop youths trying to break into stores. The riots have been just devastating to businesses in this area, especially small businesses, which have much more to lose.
This morning, when I saw images of the night’s destruction, I thought, “this isn’t my city.” But later, seeing people cleaning up the streets really helped me regain my faith. I went down to Clapham Junction, just ten minutes from my house. It was full of broken glass from store windows that had been smashed in. Many people had come out armed with gloves, bin bans, even snacks. And above all, good spirits. Dozens of us worked alongside the city cleanup crews, so the area was cleaned up really quickly.
The rioters have made their point. And we’ve taken that point. Something is wrong in our community. But enough is enough - it’s going too far. They’re mostly targeting areas where poor people live, and now these people have to deal with huge setbacks in their communities.”
A broom-wielding army. Photo posted to Twitpic by @benjaminfgray.
Underground riders carrying their brooms on their way to a cleanup. Photo posted to Twitpic by @tashanacom.