Ealing Riots… is this really my home town?

It’s 3am and I am finding it hard to sleep.

That’s because my home town, Ealing, is under siege right now. I am watching videos from Youtube (above), the BBC and Twitter pictures in disbelief at what a group of disorganised but opportunistic kids can do in just one night.

I had been away but came home this evening after hearing the news and on the way back into Ealing, I was hassled by a couple of kids no more than twelve years old while I was driving down my road.

Outside now I can hear the helicopter circling, and I can see the pictures being shot from that helicopter of the shop across the road from Ealing Studios, set ablaze and fire fighters doing their best. I am in shock as I see shops, coffee houses and restaurants I visit, smashed and looted. Cars on fire on the street where I walk home.

Twitter is a stream of information, misinformation, worried relatives, stunned residents (often with videos or pix) wondering what the hell has brought this to our door?

I was in Ealing over a decade ago when the IRA set off a car bomb. Now I am here when masked kids run riot, thieving and destroying, unchallenged by an exhausted and over stretched police force.

I feel sad and depressed this this is where, as a society, we find ourselves.

I have been in touch with Judy and she has been in touch with the whole team and we are all safe.  (pic right is of cars on the street outside our studios / offices)

Lord only knows what tomorrow will hold for us all as these terrible events are really just yards from the studio offices.

Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author

e: mail@livingspirit.com


7 Responses to Ealing Riots… is this really my home town?

  1. Nat August 9, 2011 at 3:07 am #

    I’m also from Ealing, but living in Thailand and the US for the last ten years. I’m watching events unfold across utube and twitter also, and I’m sad to the depths of my being for the UK, as you said “that this is where, as a society, we find ourselves.”

    Where do we got from here, with so many disenchanted, marginalised and angry young people in our midst? I am waiting and hoping to see stories of compassion and kindness arising from this in the next days – as we saw in Bangkok last year after protestors razed the central shopping district to the ground.

  2. Cathy August 9, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    I was awake most of the night with the noise of police sirens and helicopters and the knowledge that the riots are spreading and getting closer. Telephone calls from friends on holiday worried about their properties and the complete frustration and confusion of what we can do to help bring this madness to an end.

  3. Jane Doheney August 9, 2011 at 7:26 am #

    This is so shocking!!! I live in Acton but am away at the moment it is so scary that the police are too wary to catch them

  4. Rhett August 9, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    agree with what you say Chris. little chancers getting some thrills with no consequences. the police should ‘unmask’ anyone wearing a scarf/mask and photo them i think that would break things up pretty quick.

  5. Taro August 9, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    It’s absolutely crazy, for the first time in my life I’m glad I moved out to the burbs. It’s complete lawlessness there is no cause people are fighting for like in the Arab world it’s just out and thuggery. Very sad day for Londoners

  6. Evergreen Ealing August 9, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    That was very sad and outrageous event. Where is the dignity and laws? Those are shops we stop and they are shopkeepers we chat always…

    As a local resident, I would like to help the people who were affected yesterday and clean up and remove rubbles from the streets. We should take an action and protect OUR community!

  7. TVU Student August 9, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    i was living next to finnigans wake for the last 4 years but moved back to my island home just last summer, my sister remains in our home scared for her life and the items we have in the house that have sentimental value. My family are deeply worried and distressed for so many people caught up in the drama.

    a message went around yesterday about the attack before it happened, and now another one stating that they are hitting ealing broadway again, only harder. people in ealing, PLEASE BE SAFE.

    the police may not be able to go this alone, it may be time that the people of the public lock horns with these children and shut them down quickly before a life is lost.

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