Thursday, August 11, 2011

Is Inspired - London Listens To Young People #londonriots

The recent situation in London, Birmingham and beyond has proved to be quite a 'melon scratcher'. On the one hand I have lived just north of Tottenham and appreciate the underlying tensions between police and community, therefore an initial 'tipping point' can be percieved. However other cities such as Birmingham and Manchester are very different spaces and so 'copycat' actions can't so easily be viewed from this perspective. Overall as communities lick their wounds and seek to take action some different form of leadership has been required.

What has perplexed me most is a general lack of action from the church. Wherever in the nation you are, and have been affected, it should have been a time for people of faith to open their doors to the community, provide chances to listen, engage and show situations of hope.

I was delighted to see (this morning) that Westminster Central Hall in London is to host such an event - on Saturday. It’s aimed at young people and the idea is to get teenagers/youth talking about what has happened/is happening. It’s at Westminster central hall tomorrow at 1.30pm

As the name makes clear, the violence and looting wasn't done in the young people's name- yet as books such as the 'Gilted Generation' make clear, there has been a socio-economic storm brewing which has alienated generations of young people through lack of role models, aspiration and economic oppertunity.

Please, if you are in London (and involved in youth work etc) alert your young people to this fantastic looking event.  It's the sort of work that churches should be engaged in and shows everyones true worth....

1 comment:

  1. I think the church has been caught with its pants down to some extent, but any response this early could only come from 'leaders', and we had a bellyful of pompous, sometimes patronising speeches last time round. They don't do much good. What might achieve something would be if grassroots people got together, hopefully across different faiths, and tried to change peoples' attitudes. Real change often comes from the people, and we've done it before. The anti-slavery movement was ordinary people on the streets, often trying to help ex-slaves or fugitives; the trade unions grew out of Primitive Methodist class meetings. We need to stop letting ourselves be led by the nose, and start making a difference.