Tottenham just had one of its quarter-century riots. I strolled up to have a look just after midnight.
Rather less of sticking it to The Man, more of lads trying to prove they are men. While the police were busy defending their station, and nowhere else, I walked home past Tottenham Hale retail park at 3.30 am, slightly anxious for my camera tucked inside my coat. But no worries, attention was focused elsewhere. I stood with a little crowd and watched all the shops – those regular megastores – be systematically stripped bare. Cars (not seeming to be full of teenage rioter types) were queuing up to load up with TVs, massed hardware, clothes, everything. Looted shopping trolleys were wobbled away with 40″ TVs balanced across them. Party time, word was out.
When I got home (very glad of the 1/4inch of plywood that separates me from annihilation) I called 999 to check that the cops knew. Took ten minutes to get through. Police could do nothing, they said, as they were too overstretched.
I had my moment of glory being phone-interviewed live for BBC TV, twice. All the papers were asleep when I tried to call them at 4am so I’ll not see my profound analysis in print. Investigations of iPlayer to follow.
I knew my pics would not be as spectacular as the ones I’d seen from earlier so didn’t try flogging them. Sadly I’m not equipped, armour or courage wise, to take pics of looters, those are the ones that would have sold well. Here’s a few from my tucked-away PoV:
Gigs like this need a longer lens, but I doubt that I would have got back home with one.