WARNING: CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE
There are no words. None.
I decided to go to Tottenham and then Brixton, scenes of the weekend’s incidents, to ask locals about their feelings towards the destruction, looting and lawlessness. There wasn’t much happening in Tottenham but while I was there word came through the wire about the helicopter aerial shots of street battles on Mare Street.
Together with Glen and Gerard, two photographers I had just met, I hopped on a bus from Tottenham to Hackney. We had missed the skirmishes and as the unrest moved to Clapton I began to ask Hackney locals for their views. Then I saw this guy.
I ran over, and adopting my best street patter, asked him if he would tell me why he’s doing what he is about to do and if I could film his answer. As helicopters circled overhead, looking for people like him, he stopped and spoke to me answering some brilliant impromptu questions put to him by Sinem (whom I was previously interviewing).
Speaking with an adrenaline fused animated excitement, he talks of his dissatisfaction with the policing in London, that the killing of Mark Duggan was the necessary spark for a much bigger angst, and that the rioters are determined to demonstrate that they can organise a force to rival the police themselves. Most chilling was his warning about the 2012 Olympic Games.
None of us felt threatened by him, or anybody else. Clearly there is no intention to harm people physically. Despite all that is going on, we all found a moment to laugh at the end of the recording. But when I got home and saw the new devastation, the smiles quickly wore off.
Watch the video and share your thoughts on his reasons for destruction in the comments below.