Believe it or not, Monday 08.06.2012 marked 1 year since the riots in London (that also spread to other cities in the United Kingdom) started. I won’t elaborate (yet? who knows); however, here’s a blog post that does based on the writer reviewing what happened and its effects today. Below are my blog posts about the riots when they started. Take a look & reminisce or (if you didn’t know about the riots) learn.
There really isn’t much else to add to this. As with September 11, 2001 in the United States, July 7, 2005 is a day that’ll never be forgotten in the United Kingdom, and I think that the original blog post & my tags on this post speak for my thoughts about today.
Today 7 years ago tragedy struck the capital. The day before London had been announced as the winner of the 2012 summer Olympics. When I moved here in September 2008 the bombings were still in my mind. I wasn’t scared of being in London (if I was I wouldn’t have come) but riding the tube did make me feel a bit anxious.
One of my first memories of the tube was riding the escalator out of Kings Cross, looking around and thinking that something here was amiss. There was damage everywhere. It didn’t click for me, not until months later when I went to the Museum of London and came across a Book of Tributes. As I flipped through I read about the events of 7/7/2005. I read about the 52 people who died that day and the 700 injured.
In the run up to the anniversary this week there was…
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(written March 17, 2012)
This isn’t a 100% travel- or expatriate-related post, but it’s important enough for me to stray away from those topics a bit. As an expatriate, it’s important to me to keep abreast of current events in my home country. The following story is also one of the reasons why I left the United States and, therefore, somewhat relates to my expatriate experiences. I’m going to keep this post short because Trayvon Martin’s story infuriates me to no end, and I refuse to read or listen to anything about it until this cold-blooded racist asshole killer gets locked up. However, I wanted to give this story another platform so that it can reach all corners of the earth if possible.
When I first heard about this, I read that the scumbag killed an innocent & unarmed Black American 17-year-old named Trayvon Martin because he looked suspicious in the neighborhood… even though his father lives in said neighborhood. I checked to see if this boy had any criminal history because sometimes, people protest certain things even though the person involved was less than savory while alive, but of course this boy has no criminal history whatsoever. Then I read that when police searched the 17 year old’s body, they found a bag of Skittles & a can of iced tea – no weapons whatsoever. (I guess that Skittles & iced tea are really fucking lethal weapons that either I didn’t know about or described as such in state or federal legislation since I moved over here, unbeknownst to me.) Then I read that this scumbag is still walking the streets 1 month after he gunned down this innocent & unarmed Black American boy who went to the corner store to buy his little brother some candy & something to drink. As a matter-of-fact, this scumbag just started college courses to study criminal justice!
Now do you understand why this infuriates me? Now do you see why I refuse to read or listen to anything about this until this scumbag gets locked up & sentenced to no less than 25 years to life?
I’ve said enough; I feel the fury & rage again so I’ll end here.
Please, I beg of you, sign this Change petition. While I’m not listening to or reading about this unless real justice gets served, I suggest that you read more/do your research about this senseless & needless killing on your own. And if you feel so moved, raise hell about this case. One way that you can do that is by calling Sanford (Florida) Police Department’s Bill Lee at (407) 688-5070 (overseas – 001 407 688 5070). Tell Bill Lee to arrest George Zimmerman, the scumbag who killed this boy for no valid reason. Call Bill Lee until he can’t take it anymore. As for me, I’ll repeat this one more time:
I refuse to read or listen to anything about it until this cold-blooded racist asshole killer gets brought to justice. I don’t want to hear anything less than 25 years to life. Anything less is unacceptable.
UPDATE: Over 1,000,000 signatures. GREAT!!! 🙂 http://www.wesh.com/r/30738229/detail.html Keep on signing, keep on calling, keep on raising hell.
New York Times op-ed piece http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/17/opinion/blow-the-curious-case-of-trayvon-martin.html?_r=1&src=tp&smid=fb-share
I’m not the only one blogging this. http://showedupandshowedout.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/trayvon-martin/
Witnesses to his death heard his cries before he got shot http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/15/2696446/trayvon-martin-case.html
Audio – 911 call http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmnqKotpSD0
Change.org petition to arrest this scumbag killer http://www.change.org/trayvon
MoveOn.org petition to arrest this scumbag killer http://www.moveon.org/r?r=272971&id=37516-14438746-KyhaBix&t=2
I wanted to upload some iPhone videos that I’ve taken over the past few days, but unfortunately I didn’t realize that I’d have to pay extra on WordPress to do that. 😐 So my observations will have to be seen through my words & photos instead. I’m drafting a blog entry about a conversation that I had about community activism & voting, a conversation partly brought on by my short videos; it will be published within 1 week. In the meantime, here are a few more photos.
“I’m the one you’re looking for because I’m the one that called”, I said, walking behind the police officer when he walked past me.
Police officer, you ask? Why are the police involved in this story? Because despite living a pretty uneventful life, something pops up every once in a while that changes it for a moment.
It was Friday, about 2 weeks ago. I’d been too lazy to make lunch for work, so my co-worker/team member, whom I’ll refer to as D from now on, asked if I wanted anything from outside. I said “You know what? I need to take a walk. I’ve sat in this office all day and I need some fresh air, so lemme walk with you.” She didn’t know what she wanted either and had to buy something in a particular store, so that gave me an excuse to spend more time outside. As I didn’t have to see any kids that day, I spent most of the day doing paperwork, sucking in the stagnant & boring air in the office. Don’t get me wrong, my team members are quite entertaining and we get along pretty well. But it was time for a break.
D and I left the office, walking & talking – I about my quick trip home to tie up some loose ends and take a quick mental break, and she about her weekend plans. We wound up getting something to eat at Subway, which is likely the healthiest choice available (outside of bringing lunch from home and going to the local supermarket) among all the chicken & chips shops, McDonald’s, Burger King & KFC franchises in the ‘hood. D had a craving for something sweet to snack on, so we walked a few doors down to what I call a corner store/bodega in my hometown. She got me a bag of Doritos and was deciding what candy bar to get for herself when the foolishness began.
As we stood at the counter whilst D looked at the candy bars, the store owner’s voice quickly rose as he said “Oi! Put that down!” D is very good at being aware of surroundings because she said “(Spinster), look.” She motioned for me to turn around.
Well what do we have here. A man and a woman came into the store trying to steal. One of the items being stolen was….. wait for it…..
A bottle of fabric softener. Fairy.
Here the hell we go. 😐
He and the woman got caught. I’m not sure what she tried to steal, but whatever it was, she likely dropped it and quickly disappeared out of the store. The store owner repeated the command to return Fairy & what was a Brillo pad (I can’t make this stuff up) and after a few repeats, the man, who we found out was a crackhead (I’ll refer to him as Crack), angrily walked up to the counter and tried being defiant by not giving the stuff back right away. Instead, Crack cursed the owner in Jamaican patois, as if the store owner was stealing from him.
Bumbaclaat blah blah….. Rassclaat blah blah…..
D is watching all of this while I mumbled under my breath: “Sigh. Here we f—ing go. Is all of this really necessary? Does (Crack) really have to be so loud? He needs to give the shit back.” D, ever the quiet observer, was listening to & laughing at what I was saying while keeping an eye on Crack. Then suddenly as I kept mumbling I hear
(Spinster)!!! Move! Watch out!
I turned around and wouldn’t you know it, Crack had grabbed a bottle of wine a few feet away from us, went toward the store counter, and menaced the store owner, going as far as to try to get over the counter to smash him over the head.
She didn’t have to tell me twice. I quickly made my way to the back of the store right along with the other store customers. 😐
I can’t remember much else in the following few seconds because I was dialing 999, but I think a couple of workers in the store attempted to stop the man from going over the counter (they succeeded) and I said “I’m calling the police.” D said “Good idea” while I dialed. I described everything we saw, including Crack’s appearance. The operator gave me a reference code and said “The police will be there in 12 minutes.” 12 minutes seemed quite long, but I said okay. It actually didn’t take that long; a police car arrived less than 5 minutes later.
We didn’t want to wait 12 minutes; however, before we left, D made sure that the store owner was alright. We came to find out that Crack has stolen/attempted stealing from the store many times before and “We’ve beat him many times but he still comes back!”. Yes….. Crack is so wack that he’s had his ass beat in that store before, yet still comes back for more.
(picture from http://shavarross.com)
When the police car came, we were leaving the store since we thought it’d take 12 minutes. A police officer got out of the car. “I’m the one you’re looking for because I’m the one that called”, I said, walking behind the officer when he walked past me. I briefly ran down what happened, he thanked me, and we walked back to our office.
When we got back I said to my other co-workers “You won’t believe what just happened with us.” We told the story and one of my cheeky co-workers said
Maybe he needed Fairy to cut the crack.
Stick a fork in us because we were done.
Moral of the story: Life happens when you least expect it. Oh, and in the wise words of my aunt J:
Don’t commit any crime in front of me because I’m telling. (That’s right, I “snitch”. I’m not going to jail or prison for anyone.)