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English teacher interested in language and culture, and also in fiction using magic, myth, folklore and the supernatural. Now teaching part-time in a Leicester Upper School (ages 14-19) and also writing for children, teens and teachers.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Riots and Looting in London (and elsewhere)

Never having lived in London, I feel unqualified to comment on its current situation, but at the same time I'm astounded by the simplicity and narrow-mindedness of some of the arguments I've seen in blog comments and on Twitter (including let's shoot them, it's because of single parents, this proves the BNP is right etc etc). I thought a simple round-up of some of the excellent writing I've seen on the subject would be a good idea.

I'm including the Telegraph's piece about the context. It has been widely retweeted, but that's because of its quality. Neither condoning the rioters' actions, nor simply dismissing those individuals, Mary Riddell explores various contributing factors.

Many of the most affecting pieces I've read have been on blogs, often written by Londoners.
Jen Campbell (of the fabulous 'Weird Things People Say in Bookstores') wrote a lovely piece entitled 'I Heart London'.
Stella Duffy has two excellent posts on her blog: from the early hours of this morning, musing on the coverage of the riots and what there is left to celebrate about London/Britain; from this afternoon sharing her experiences out in her local community.
From another bookshop blog (The Big Green Bookshop) - an initial post from Sunday about the devastation in their local area (Wood Green) and a follow up from today, explaining how things are looking in the neighbourhood now.

As well as all these, of course, I've taken comfort (as have many) from the @riotcleanup and #riotwomble campaigns and this wonderful picture of the community cleanup operation and this great image of solidarity and support.

I hope that normal service will be resumed shortly. I was going to post a book review today, but it seemed too frivolous to do so.

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