A few more words…
No serious reports coming in at this stage. There has been rain, and there are twice as many police on the streets. Hopefully all this has dissuaded any would-be troublemakers from causing more problems. Understandably there is still tension particularly amongst the community where the murders occurred last night, but for the moment, all is calm. Let’s all hope things stay that way.
In other news, mainstream media have been on my tail! In the last 48 hours I’ve been on BBC WM radio twice (once yesterday morning and once earlier tonight), I was on BBC Midlands Today TV yesterday, did an interview for a French-Canadian newspaper earlier tonight, CNN and the Online News Association in the US have been in touch, The Guardian mentioned me in their blog, I pre-recorded an interview for BRMB which I think is going out imminently on Caroline Martin’s show, I was just live on the FRICTION show on BBC Asian Network, and I have another interview tomorrow morning with a French national newspaper. My head is spinning, so hopefully I didn’t miss any of them. If any of you see or hear any of them, let me know. If I can record back any of the audio or video, I may repost if there’s interest, so follow me on Twitter for updates on that regard.
But I want to point out that the reason I set up this blog was simple. To provide real-time and unbiased coverage. We may not have been 100% accurate, 100% of the time, but I think our accuracy level has been pretty high for the most part. The thousands of messages of support I’ve had from so many of you not only gave me the motivation to keep going but also showed that there was a real appreciation for the updates.
Sky News, BBC News and other media have been painfully slow on updates, and many of you have accused them of even being biased. Of course, they are far more liable, but in this day and age they simply must evolve or people will turn elsewhere, which the 1million+ page views this blog got yesterday would indicate. As for me, I have no agenda other than to keep the people informed and safe as quickly as possible. I’m not getting paid to do this, and so I am truly humbled at some of the messages I’ve received saying I’ve put the mainstream media to shame. A few of you have even called me a hero, but I’m not. I’m just someone that believes in the power of the internet and social media as a force for good. That’s all. And the truth is that I couldn’t have done it without the thousands of you helping, submitting information, pictures and more. We should all be proud of ourselves as a community - but the real work begins now. Not just to clean up our battered streets, but to all do as much as we can to ensure these kind of events don’t happen again. No matter what your job or background there are ways we can all help. I firmly believe that.
The imminent threat of major violence may or may not be over. So we all need to stay vigilant, stay safe, and above all have compassion for each other. The unity that this has brought between us in response to these sickening acts of violence, might well be the silver lining to this incredibly dark cloud. Thank you all.