In London on 6th August 2011, gangs of youths started some of the worst rioting the UK had seen since the 80s. For three nights they continued in Tottenham, Tottenham Hale, and Wood Green. Over nights which followed, copycat riots erupted not just in other areas of London, but in Birmingham, West Bromwich, Wolverhampton, Nottingham, Liverpool, Salford and Manchester.
In the early hours of the third night’s rioting, the hashtag #riotcleanup started trending ahead of #londonriots, a victory for positivity. In the small hours of 9th August a Twitter account was created and by 5.30am the website www.riotcleanup.co.uk was up.
These platforms were used to mobilise people who wanted to help clean up. Hundreds of people with brooms turned up to various locations in affected areas that day. Now, this site will serve as a portal for information. It will list where you can donate to people who have lost possessions and other useful contacts.
The use of social media was blamed for the spread of the rioting and looting but the same media also helped galvanise local residents to come out and start bringing the community back together again.
Local businesses affected by the riots will need the support of their local communities now more than ever and these clean ups seem to indicate that this is exactly what they are going to get!