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Take a step back and take a little pride

Submitted by on August 12, 2011 – 10:40 amNo Comment

By Spuddy

I’m sure you’ve all witnessed the craziness that has been happening in the major cities all over England, the rioting, looting and arson that has been spreading like, well like wildfire through London, Manchester and Birmingham.

Now if, like me, you were disgusted and saddened at some of the pictures that were being broadcast through the usual channels such as the BBC, of windows being put through and shops being looted and in the more extreme of nights burnt to the ground by kids no older than 14 in some cases not only in London, but also in Manchester, then you will hopefully agree with what I am trying to put across.

Unlike most of the posts you will have read on either here or in the papers, this one won’t be pointing fingers or trying to place the blame. No my dear friends, this will concentrate on the few shining beacons of hope that have pierced through the darkness of the last four days.

The moments that have made your hearts swell and given you a little bit more pride in your fellow men, women and children of this city and this country. The reasons that make Manchester such an amazing place to live and the reasons why community pride is something that will never be defeated by whatever is thrown at it, which in this case just happened to be bottles and bricks.

As I sat on the tram approaching Market Street on Wednesday morning I found myself looking out of the window wondering what sort of vandalism and chaos would greet me as the tram trundled in, wondering how many people would have turned up to help clean up the city they reside in and love and wondering if Manchester would ever be the same again.

I had no reason to worry though as the sight of nearly 400 Mancunians all stood in Piccadilly Gardens was there to greet me, all carrying brushes and bin bags ready to help clean up the streets and the business that were affected. The likes of Diesel and Footlocker had been looted of at least 90 per cent of their stock and Miss Selfridges had been firebombed during the major flaring up point.

By the time I arrived most of the operation had already been dealt with by Manchester City Council who had done a fantastic job overnight, not often you can say that, but also by the volunteers many of whom had been there since 8am to make a start with the clean-up.

The windows that mere hours before had lain shattered and strewn across the street were now boarded over and the remnants of the night before swept up and disposed of – the streets looked as though nothing had even taken place and the businesses and workers were getting on with their routines as if it was just a normal Wednesday morning.

The sight of so many proud Mancunians lining the streets ready to do anything they could to help, no matter how big or small, is one that will always stick with me and acted as a proper show of defiance and strength to the people who had tried their hardest to destroy not just the shops and businesses that occupy Manchester’s streets but also the spirit and pride that we have in our city.

It wasn’t just in Manchester where this had happened. In Battersea 150 local residents turned out to help clean up their streets, in Birmingham three young men tragically lost their lives as they tried to protect their streets from the looters and in Southall, west London, hundreds of Sikh men stood guard outside their temple and patrolled the streets on Tuesday night.

Every single story shows the good side and the bad side of each community, the people who are proud to say where they are from and the people who just want to cause trouble.

Now I know you will all still be waiting for me to start with the accusations and trying to place the blame at either the government and Cameron for being inept and shit, which let’s face facts they are, or blaming the idiots who went out looting and causing mayhem for being cunts, also true.

But I’ll leave that for the conversations I have over many beers, because in my eyes even if it’s only for a day, I want everyone to concentrate on and be proud of what your fellow people can do in the face of adversity, knowing that when push comes to shove the true spirit of a city can rise like a phoenix from the ashes and put a smile back on your face.

It’s this pulling together of people from so many different backgrounds and ethnicities that show us that humanity isn’t dead regardless of what we’ve endured and watched over the last few days.

Sure, questions have been raised about how the upper classes treat us and they need answering, but for once let’s just delay the anger and vitriol and show some pride in knowing that we will always survive any hardship.

Manchester has survived greater than this, Manchester will never die as long as we have people there to fight for it – and doesn’t that make you proud to call yourself a Mancunian?

PS Cameron is still a cunt though.

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