Here are the pictures I took in Manchester today. A looting clear up slideshow.
I’m calling it looting, not rioting, because it’s important to use the right words. Last night’s activities in Manchester (I’m not so sure about Salford) were all about theft and thuggery. A riot has to be about something, this was just opportunism.
Come to think of it, calling it looting may make it sound grander than it really was.
Clean up squad, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.
I rode into town with a brush and a shovel waving around in my pannier. But I feel like an amateur next to this guy.
The Council’s clean up squads got most of the mess out of the way over night, it seems, leaving us to tidy up little bits left over. Apart from a few Vans trainer boxes the only stuff I helped clear up was accumulated crap in a doorway. There were a couple of jewellers which had been hit harder than most, and a lot of cracked windows, but nowhere near the devestation I feared fom last night’s coverage. I’ve wandered around the Northern Quarter and the Arndale and found little to do. I feel unnecessary, but that’s a good thing. I’d rather be a fifth wheel, taking a break in Nero, than sweeping up the bits and pieces of folks’ lives, as they’ve had to do in parts of London.
Let’s put an end to the calls for water cannons and baton rounds, and let’s not allow the Coalition to use this as an excuse for harsher laws. This will blow over and when it’s calmed down and everyone’s rebuilding we don’t want draconian laws in place that can be used to silence genuine protest.
Make a lot of noise supporting the Police, Fire and Ambulance sevices. They may have made mistakes, but they were out there doing a dangerous job. Tell Cameron, Clegg etc. that they need the funding. As do all the other services getting cut because of their policies. Youth clubs aren’t going to prevent riots, but they are going to keep some kids out of them. And give those kids people to confide in so the vandals can be rounded up. Build a better society (and not a Big Society, that was a fucking stupid, empty concept even before Saturday) out of this.
Stay safe Manchester, Salford, Birmingham, Liverpool, London and everywhere else. We’re bigger than this.