So I guess you can see why the area’s a complete and utter toilet, and likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future…
On Friday I will be attending the funeral of my friend, Mark Duggan (Ed: truly, the Funeral That Taste Forgot...). Five weeks after he was shot dead by the police in Tottenham, at last the community will get a chance to say a final farewell to the man who was not "yardie gangster Starrish Mark", as the media would have you believe, but simply Mark, the nice guy from Broadwater Farm……with a loaded gun in his sock. Yup, clearly a real nice guy!
… like many people in Tottenham I still feel angry at his death, and specifically the way it has been handled.
The mood is still extremely tense. Young people in the area are disgruntled with local councillors, who they feel are not fighting their corner on issues such as stop and search, or providing opportunities for them.What sort of ‘opportunities’, I wonder? And why is it somehow the business of councillors to do this?
Why can they not do something for themselves, and work for these ‘opportunities’?
They feel they've had enough. "Why has there been a lack of investment in the area, while places like Stratford get new shopping centres and sports facilities?" one friend told me.The only reason Stratford has the new shopping centre is to feed off the Olympics development, and the only reason the Olympics development is in Stratford is because there was a lot of useable ex-rail land.
Are you suggesting we flatten large areas of Tottenham (actually, not a bad idea..?) to give you these ‘opportunities’?
I hope the event will be a sombre occasion for a reflection on his life, tragically cut short. But Young people have begun walking in pairs in order to have witnesses if heavy handed police action were to come their way. "We hate the police because they always want to violate us," a young rapper told me.Well, that’s the persona rappers like to project, I suppose. It’s unlikely to put bread on the table if they don’t….
Some youngsters even feel they could be next to be shot by trigger-happy officers.Well, since you’re in the ‘youth’ biz, maybe you should bring home to them the potentially-lethal consequences of their chosen lifestyle?
After all, if you don’t, then we can consider you part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Many locals believe Duggan was unlawfully killed by police, and the misinformation that ensued is symptomatic of how police operate in the black community.Because if they just spoke plainly, you’d accept it, even if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear?
Of course, many in the wider public have taken the attitude, "he had a gun, he deserved to die".Yup! That’s my attitude too. He’s no loss, even if he did have ‘a cheeky smile’.
No, he didn't. I have fond memories of Mark. In the clubs he was the proverbial raver, dancing freely. But he also played an integral part in peace initiatives that sought to bring the community together – like the "midnight football" that was held in the Broadwater Community Centre (and which included players such as Emmanuel Frimpong, now with Arsenal).Awwww, I’m welling up!
If he did have a gun, which is debatable….Well, hang on a minute! The police and independent PCC say they’ve recovered a gun, but now you doubt this? They really can’t win with you, can they?
… he still had a right to be apprehended in a lawful manner and given a fair trial.He did, indeed. He gave up that right when he gave an armed officer reason to open fire.
Tottenham is a place where people do not tolerate injustice.Really? Are you sure about that? It seems there's a hell of a lot of shootings that, so long as they aren't done by men in uniform, your precious 'community' is only too willing to tolerate....
It's always been that way, our community is close knit. Older residents will remember Cynthia Jarrett, whose death sparked the Broadwater Farm riots of 1985.She wasn’t shot by armed police, though, was she?
She had a heart attack – which given her size and general health, could have happened in Tesco - but it was still a handy catalyst for the usual suspects to behave like animals.
This is why people get angry. Families should be shown respect and deserve an explanation in their hours of grief. Officers may not be able to give the full answers until an inquiry, but to show empathy is the least mothers, families and relatives deserve.Actually, they do – it never fails to make me grind my teeth when the usual police statement about how much they regret ‘loss of life’ is wheeled out, even when the criminal they’ve shot has been shot in the act.*
But people like Samuda and the other chip-on-the-shoulder racemongers don’t even hear this.
They don’t really want the empathy they claim they need; what they want is a chance to castigate the police for something they’ve usually had no choice in.
Simple early words may have averted the rioting. To stay silent and dismiss an angry community, when it was felt that one of their own had been assassinated, plunged relations between the police and young people to a new low.If idiots like you continue to give credence that the police ‘assassinate’ members of the black community, you’ll never, ever have the peace you claim to want, but in reality don’t, because then you couldn’t make a living out of it.
As one friend told me: "It seems like it's taken burning buildings, throwing bricks at police and people to rebel for governments and lawmakers to admit that something has gone wrong."Oh, indeed.
I don’t think you’re going to like the steps they put in place to remedy it, though. No, I don’t think you’re going to like it at all….
But I think I am.
*Update: If, as commenters at Anna Raccoon's claim, the Met paid for this abomination, then serious questions need to be asked.