Hurrah to the good people of Hackney

Hurrah to the good people of Hackney (and elsewhere in the city), who turned out in droves on the streets of the neighbourhood, indignation in their eyes, anger in their hearts, armed to the teeth with brooms and bin bags. And even greater hurrah to council services — hurrah to the council! let’s not cut their funding! — who were on the streets from 3am, cleaning up the litter, removing the burnt-out cars, sweeping up the glass, and generally obviating any need for the well-meaning pocket of people who turned up at 10am in front of Hackney Town Hall to help out with any hashtag clean-up.

Beards, bikes and now brooms. The Hackney 3B triad is now complete. If everyone stays away from the Olympics we can fashion some sort of broom-based bicycle polo event where the winner gets to impersonate Will Oldham.

The DLR would like to take a moment to note that Hackney’s streets are already so well-looked after that the group were asked to go to once stately Clapham, where help is still needed. (Presumably they are waiting for their housekeepers to arrive.)

By 9am most of the cars had been carted away; there were some still on Clarence Road, which was the epicentre of the stand-off. Residents were taking camera pictures, talking to clean-up crews, talking to each other. There was a general air of disappointment, and a fair amount of shock at the sheer lawlessness the area reached. Police, already tired from being up three nights’ running, were stretched and thin on the ground (they were likely also on the edge of their seats and at the end of their rope). The well-publicised stand-off on Kingsland Road between the Turks (“this is our livelihood”) and the rioters (“this is a recession”) is heart-stirring for sure, but also deeply wrong — violence is the monopoly of the state and no other’s.

Clarence Place. Clarence Place! Where the houses are big and the area, so says Keatons, is 'ever-changing'.

This is not going to do any good for the DLR's car insurance.

Gentrification seems to have played little part in the events, though arguably the coexistence of a middle class and a working class makes the gulf in living standards more palpable. The would-be clean-up gathering at Hackney Town Hall unified under the “take back our streets” rallying cry of a vicar who spoke, but when a (black female) reverend grabbed the microphone, and noted that most in the (white middle-class) crowd probably did not live on estates but in “nice houses”, gentrification seemed visible for a flicker of a second — though we still feel it has largely been a non-issue.

What will happen tonight? The police have been careful about holding themselves back; there seem to have been no events that could serve as future flash points. So, good people of Hackney and elsewhere in the city, go buy your kebabs from the heroic Turks and chocolate from raided off-licences. And lastly, a shout-out, thumbs-up, thank-you to @DalstonDin and @Dalstonpeople (also: on Twitter, for excellent coverage of the events as they unfolded — hopefully you will get some sleep tonight!

Could you at least spell the graffiti correctly? Now go away before you make Dianne Abbot cry again.

This entry was posted in Democratic People's Republic of Dalstonia and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Hurrah to the good people of Hackney

  1. I once saw a bit of graffiti that said “nigers go home”. I’m not sure if it is better or worse to be racially abused by someone so stupid. Unless they were being very specific about people from the Republic Of…

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