The Response from Sheffield to the Riots that dominated August 2011
Tues Aug 9th –
Three days after rioting began in Tottenham, regional news teams venture out to capture images of the spreading violence in Liverpool, Nottingham, Manchester and other cities across England. In response to the potential for escalation in Sheffield, Harry Carter MYP and Youth Workers release a statement and call for calm to remain in their city.
Wed Aug 10th –
Harry Carter goes on local BBC Radio to talk about the peace in Sheffield, and to represent the many young people who condemning the violence. Harry records a message to the city’s young people: “Proud to Be from Sheffield“. This is is publicized by Youth Workers and is matched by a letter in the Sheffield Star from Harry and other youth representatives.
Harry opens a dialogue with Sheffield’s MPs, emphasising the need for rioters to be recognised as criminals and not “youths”. In his discussions he calls for the order that has been maintained in Sheffield, to be championed in Thursday’s parliamentary debate. Staff for the Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband MP contact Harry to confirm they have passed on this sentiment.
Thursday Aug 11th –
Parliament debates the riots after statements by the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition. From Sheffield, Harry travels to Manchester to a conference with the British Youth Council. In an unplanned debate, the BYC discuss the riots’ impact on youth representation, and the delegates stress the importance of distinguishing between criminals and young people.
Fri Aug 12th –
Harry and Youth Leaders meet with the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, on a visit to Sheffield to speak about the Riots. They discuss liaising with South Yorkshire Police, and the use of the twitter hashtag “#steelnotsteal”. The Deputy PM and the Youth Leaders also discuss the sense of community felt by people in the city, restating the words from Harry’s letter to the Deputy PM (Sheffield Hallam MP) on Wednesday. The Sheffield Star publishes Harry’s pride in young people. Members of staff from the organisations “Sheffield Futures” and “Young Advisors” also appear on BBC Radio Sheffield to talk about the Deputy Prime Minister’s visit.
Sat Aug 13th –
Harry responds to a message from Yannick Tona, Youth Ambassador for Harmony, Rwanda, Kigali about the Riots, explaining the causes and his own belief in what can be done to restore communities.
Tue Aug 16th –
Harry travels to London for a meeting at Number 10 Downing Street to discuss youth involvement in the Big Society. At the meeting with the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit, Harry states the need to rebuild communities after the riots, and the possibility of utilizing Big Society style projects to provide young people with a stake in their communities. The rioting itself having ended, the political commentators begin to examine the causes of the violent phenomenon.
Fri Aug 23rd –
Harry visits Croydon, to talk to the young people there and assess the fallout of the riots. Rebuilding communities is essential to preventing these sorts of opportunistic riots from happening again. Throughout the day, Harry and other volunteers post their findings to this live feed website. The group’s findings were to be compiled in a summary report available for the public.