The London Riots, as seen through Facebook, iPhones and Blackberrys

My friend Mark went to Hackney last night to take some photos. He said it started out fairly casual, there was the odd brick thrown by a teenager and bins set alight but nothing too dramatic. As it got dark however, the atmosphere got a lot more tense and eventually things turned pretty nasty. He was threatened by youths for taking pictures of ‘black faces’. He left soon afterwards but later on, several journalists were beaten up and mugged for their equipment and money.

(Photos by Mark Napier)

Later on, in Clapham Junction, my  friends Iain, Kenny and Simon were  there when it kicked off and the mob started burning buildings on St John’s Road:

The damage around Brixton was evident on my way to work this morning:

There was heartening news however, from Clapham Junction, where hundreds of residents joined together in a huge effort to clean up the mess left by a night of violence, burning and looting.

My friend Kenny took part (and got a girl’s number – well done, Kenny!) as he lives just around the corner. He said the atmosphere was incredible, and this video makes me inclined to believe him.

Even when I was there later on, you could still spot the odd broom-armed hero, like this guy who was striding along, sweeping brush over his shoulder and a can of Red Stripe in his hand:

At the moment, talking heads are arguing over the root cause of the violence, with several different theories being bandied about. Many people are, of course, getting very angry. This woman was telling it like it is in Hackney last night, and has become of an internet heroine…

Indeed, the major role the internet has played in all of it is undeniable, often with amusing/bemusing results.

Here are a couple of examples that made me LOL.

And with that – I’m off to find my dinner/a shop that’s still open in Clapham.


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Filed under Current Affairs, London, London Riots

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