The London riots one year on: Have things changed? // Blog for Time Out
“There’s a fear mentality from the police’s side regarding the potential destruction that young people can cause in a very small space of time. Equally, there’s fear for the potential force the police have access to, with speculation over the use of rubber bullets, water cannons and pepper spray to use in policing future riots. There’s a lot of distrust on both sides.
Opportunities have been cut; LIVE, for example, has lost all of its funding. But the riots have led to some community leaders taking action by setting up their own charities, on the little bits of funding they can find. There’s a feeling of social responsibility – we need to all help each other out.
When I spent time at the Occupy camp, I saw a society build itself up from the cracked pavements outside St Paul’s. And the first thing that emerged there was education (at the Tent City Uni) and welfare, with the food the kitchen. Young people have an anger to express, and with the riots of last year they found their chance to do that. It won’t be the last time, I’ll tell you that much.”