London resident: 'It seemed like a war zone'
Fires engulf shops and residences in Croydon, England on Tuesday.
August 9th, 2011
10:16 AM ET

London resident: 'It seemed like a war zone'

Graciela Watson watched aghast from her home in Hackney on Monday as "yobs" barricaded her normally quiet residential street with burning trash cans and clashed repeatedly with police.

She had witnessed tension building as she made her way home in the afternoon, having to take a different route than usual with her two children - both under three - to avoid crowds of people throwing missiles.

"We didn't think it would come up our street, but it started here," she said. Troublemaking youths, or yobs, gathered trash bins from outside the houses on the street and set them alight to form flaming barricades, she said.

"That's when we realized trouble was coming our way," Watson, a filmmaker and former journalist said.

The youths then set fire to a van and soon the clashes with police began in earnest, carrying on in her street for well over an hour.

Meanwhile, asleep at the back of the ground floor apartment were Watson's two young children, both under three - and there was no way for the family to leave the apartment except by the front door.

"It was kind of strange," Watson said. "You are scared but there's also a very strange kind of adrenaline almost, as you watch everything unfold in front of you.

"Watching on the TV, hearing your street being named, seeing your neighborhood in flames around you - you are terrified but almost excited at the same time."

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Filed under: United Kingdom
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. saywhat

    @ banasy
    Scary but right.
    report is that "jobs & cuts in services are fuelling the rioting'. The whole of Europe in a financial & fiscal mess of their own making , can well face this scenario. And then.....?

    August 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mack

    @ saywhat:

    August 9, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mack

    @ jilly:
    The British most certainly are not bigots.
    There might be a few, but the USA is full of bigots.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • tensor

      Google Merkel and " ... multiculturalism has utterly failed."
      Then google Sarkozy and the same, then google Cameron and the same.
      They finally get it, the U.S. still doesn't.
      No one knows how to now put the genie back into the bottle.

      August 9, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. The Måd Råp3r

    Kill'em all, let God sort'em out!

    August 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mack

    @ your 2:52 saywhat, directed at me and others,
    I just reviewed.
    We disagree on this.
    That's enough to say about it.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. saywhat

    @ Mack.
    Thanks. Your rightful prerogative.
    Reports are now coming in that the businesses which were mostly looted & burned down were those of Asian immigrants. To the point that the owners and residents of those areas have decided to defend their homes & businesses on their own.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Endangered Baby Gorilla


    August 9, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mack

    @ tensor, Merkel, Sarkozy, & Cameron:
    I didn't Google the three, but I'll give tensor the benefit of the doubt and assume that they said something on that subject.
    I notice that tensor didn't mention races, just multiculturalism.

    August 9, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mack

    tensor's post was daring.

    August 9, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. fred

    Sorry that people act so cuel in todays day

    August 9, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jazzzzzzzz

    It's part of our human nature....Fred

    August 9, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
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