Liverpool riots aftermath

ABOVE: An Iraqi Kurdish shopkeeper in his bargain store on Lawrence Road, Wavertree, which was raided by looters on 9 August. The businessman, who prefers to stay anonymous, was alerted by a neighbour and went to guard his shop with several friends – staying from midnight to 7am to prevent more looting. He believes he recognised the raiders on his CCTV, and now wants to close his shop and leave the UK. “They took maybe £5,000 worth of stock and I have no insurance,” he said. “More than the money though, this has hurt me. On the CCTV I can see them laughing as they were doing it. This is not about the shop, it’s about my dignity. The police couldn’t protect my shop and I couldn’t protect my shop. That is a horrible feeling.”


In Toxteth, local people launched a coordinated response aimed at reclaiming their streets in the wake of the violence. The Tiber Project and the Unity Youth and Community Centre, both in the Lodge Lane area, joined with other community organisations to form Toxteth Against the Riots. Concerned residents held a packed emergency meeting and organised themselves into groups which patrolled the streets tirelessly following the first night of trouble. All week, the centre is staying open until the early hours of the morning to provide the volunteers with food and hot drinks. Julie Smith, Unity Centre coordinator (pictured below) said: “It was petrifying, there were police horse charges and the intensity of the gangs which were roaming was scary. Our staff went out, young and old, along with other community members, many of them parents. We had 19 year olds out there trying to talk their peers into taking their hoods down and going home. The adults were telling them the same things but it can have more impact sometimes when other youths are trying to reason with them. I was really proud of our young people that night. A key problem was that a number of people out there causing trouble – especially as it got later – weren’t from L8 and didn’t know us, so our presence didn’t have the same impact on those ones.”

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