Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Two tales of one city:

Taking shelter from the driving rain on Lodge Lane in Toxteth, he tells her why he has taken to the streets. "These are my boys. I'm not just going to stay at home and miss out on all the fun."

The 25-year-old, who did not want to give his name, described an "adrenalin rush" as gangs of youths, thought to number 200 at the height of the troubles in the city which centred on low-income areas in the South of the city, but sparked also on the other side of the Mersey in Birkenhead.

"Police patrol these streets every night of the week and we only get to riot every few years. They can't come here laying down the law like they do all year round. People are rioting because the riot is finally here."
Idriss Majad used to be a legal investigator in Iraq, before fleeing violence in the country and seeking asylum in the UK. After receiving permission to remain, he opened a shop, just last month.

"I came to this country for safety and when I got permission to stay I tried to invest. I borrowed money and I invested everything I had in this shop," he said.

He estimated that with the stock, mainly cigarettes, stolen and the damage done to windows, the counter and shutter, it would cost him around £5,000. "It is huge for me. Already I can't make nothing, but I was building for the future. It is miserable, I am very nervous but I have to carry on with my business because I don't want them to win."

Great reporting on both sides of the riots in Liverpool by Alexandra Topping for the Guardian.


Matthew Baddorf said...

Truly amazing contrast. Good call on your decision to post them together like that.

Actually, the first is pretty amazing by itself. It reminds me of the most recent Batman movie for sheer, chilling moral corruption.

Kathryn said...

The first post scared me too.

Anonymous said...

"...the riot is finally here."

It sounds like a spirit of some sort is driving those people.

Chops said...

Another article I read was written by a guy who participated in Liverpool riots in 1981: he describes wanting to be where the fun was. He had neither a desire to express grievances, nor a premeditated aim to destroy; he just got caught up in the crowd.

spriestapphotography said...

Agreed- excellent reporting, unbiased, letting the subjects speak for themselves.