Three nights of senseless violence have left London paralyzed and shaken as people wake up around the city this morning. Thousands didn’t sleep a wink last night. Either the sounds of sirens and helicopters made sleeping impossible or, for many, living so close to this unbelievable violence filled them with such fear that sleeping was wishful thinking.
This isn’t a news blog. This is a fashion blog. I know you come here to mostly read light, fun and fashionable stories. However, it is important that one thing be made perfectly clear to all readers wherever on this planet you may live: what you are seeing on television is not an accurate picture of our community here in London. You know the saying “a few bad apples spoils the bunch”? Well, that’s the situation we find ourselves in here. A few thousands youths have made all of London look like one of the most dangerous places on earth in the matter of days. Here’s what I know to be true…
I moved to London nine years ago, straight out of university in America. I came here and was frightened of a new place where I didn’t know a soul. Inside of nine years I have been made to feel like I have always lived in this city. My own community, in North London, has been so wonderful and giving. I know all the shopkeepers, the dry cleaners, the local cafe owners and even the gentleman who spends most of his days just sitting in front of our coffee shop reading wonderfully long and intense pieces of literature. My point is that I was accepted into my neighbourhood without any question but with open arms. London is used to accepting those from foreign countries. It’s one of the greatest melting pots in the world and for the most part we bend over backwards to help those who require a new start or a safe place to call home.
So when I see that my city is threatened by unintelligent, bored, senseless youths…I get angry. The world sees this happening and one can only imagine they think London is a place of complete chaos and lacking authority or structure. While the riots over the past three days have proved that we need to have a better law enforcement plan in place, it has also proved more so than ever that the communities in London are alive and well. Just in trolling through twitter I find myself tearing up at some of the messages of hope, shelter, advice and support that is offered across the city for those in need.
We will get this problem under control. London will return to normal but unfortunately one cannot go unscathed from such a catastrophe. My message to you tonight, world, is that London is not what you see on the television tonight as you catch up on your global news. London is an amazing city where people, on a daily basis, make miracles happen for one another. London is a city that is overflowing with beauty and culture at every turn of a corner. London, for me, is a place that is like no other place on earth. My very first day in this city I sat in a cafe and cried thinking I had made the biggest mistake of my life leaving all that I knew to try something different in a foreign country. I was then offered a cup of tea from a complete stranger and a promise that it would make everything in the world right. It did and I haven’t looked back since. And I certainly won’t let some moronic teenagers dressed in hoodies scare me away from the city I love.
Take your best shot, you cowards! London won’t be beaten!
Images from BBC screenshots