Opinion: The London Riots by Aida Apple

While watching the centre of my town being vandalised and terrorised, I pick up a little badge on the table which read ‘I ❤ Hackney’. I remember the massive exhibition and campaign that had taken place a few years ago in order to promote a ‘safer, cleaner and greener’ Hackney. On the TV, a car explodes a few meters from where I go to school and in that moment it seems the struggle to fix Hackney’s image as the ‘worst place to live in the UK’ is lost. I wonder where all the pride had gone. The pride that came with getting our new academies, awards for ‘best pubs’, being seen as a place of culture and being a host borough of the 2012 Olympics had just been shattered along with the windows of the shops that day. Town Pride. It was so frustrating to see those who were the same age as I destroying the very place that raised them. The words ‘cuts’, ‘injustice’, ‘broken’ ‘impoverished’ floated past my ears as those on the TV looked for an explanation or an excuse for these actions. I think about all the people who had died because of ‘E8’, ‘E5’ ‘E9’ and the rest. All those pointless deaths over something that helps the postman find your house. If those same people were so adamant about ‘protecting’ Hackney from outsiders, why did they feel they were justified in attacking their own community? Yes, Hackney is a poor borough and we are feeling the cuts. However, despite the borough’s achievements, it appears there still isn’t enough for residents to be proud of.


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