August 16th, 2011

Raks New Profile Pic Square

London and UK Riots: Community Response

Cut and pasted from an email from OBV:

Dear friends of OBV

Just when we thought it couldn't get much worse, it did. Much worse. In many ways the disturbances were predictable. All the elements have been in place for some time: grave tensions between the police and Black youths, dissatisfaction and alienation, unemployment, the lack of hope, and the school holidays. The peaceful protest against the death of Mark Duggan was the spark that lit the national fire storm.

Now the backlash. 'Bring in Robo-cop', they shout. 'Stole bottled water. First offence. Six months prison'. 'White is the new Black', 'Gas all the coons'. There is no question which community is in the firing line, despite the facts that say many races were involved. The challenge for the Black community therefore has never been greater.

Our collective response with church leaders and community activists: Operation Hope and Recovery. A loose collation of individuals, organisations and churches that will attempt to undertake the largest political empowerment programme this nation has ever seen. The focus of the project will be on political participation, and economic enterprise. One demands justice and equality, the other creates wealth and jobs. To launch its ideas you are invited to Friends House this Friday 6.30pm. This is the communities response to this emergency.

Please join us on Friday: Sign up at

Now more than ever, keep strong and united.

Simon Woolley