Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Unrest in Eltham.

Tonight through various sources I was told that Eltham was experiencing some unrest. Reports of the EDL and Millwall fans taking to the streets to reclaim them, and 'defend' their town. Quite noble in some peoples eyes.

On arriving in the area at around 10pm it was immediately obvious something was happening. Very heavy traffic, numerous police vehicles in the queue, and dozens if not hundreds of young white men walking up the street with a spring in their step.

Getting out of the car and joining the flocks of people, I started to walk up to the junction by McDonalds (for those who know the area). Instantly I felt like I didn't belong, and using my Blackberry to film the police passing on blues was not appreciated by the groups, showing their disapproval by shouting "he's filming, he's filming". I stopped!

Arriving at the junction I was greeted by about a dozen police vehicles, including a large number of riot officers from the vehicles. Hearing shouting and seeing movement I headed over, just in time to see the police moving in to take two men out of the crowd. The jeers of the crowds went up "we are The Eltham, we are the Millwall".

As the crowds became louder, I decided to seperate myself from them. Heading to one end of the group I was faced with a wall of riot officers, walking to the other end I was greeted by the same. Strangely intimidating looking, yet great to chat to. Leaving the containment was no problem, and managed to exchange words. Hearing him explaining to someone he has had about 10 hours off in 3 days. Poor sods!

I wandered about for a few minutes longer, taking a few more of the attached shots before heading off. To round it up I would say the crowd was good spirited, yet due to the number of people on the streets, and the potential of what could happen, the police were going nowhere fast. As I finally did move on I passed a police van stopped at the traffic lights, giving a young lad a piece of his mind. The cop concerned was already quite wired from a bit earlier. The lad had thrown a pipe at the police van as it passed by. So he deserved everything he got.

The night ended in a slightly more lighthearted way. We went to Catford to grab some food, stopping at McDonalds. The same location of the JD Sport looting of the previous night. Tonight there was a police presence there, but all was quiet. Police exercising stop and search, while a few more took a well earned break. Taking it in turns to walk through the drive thru, and as pictured, some having a sit down at the table.

It was nice to see nothing too serious happening in London tonight, but strange to see no mention of the numbers of police and youths in Eltham on the news.

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