Monday, August 8, 2011

Nighttime Snack: One Year Out, Just Not What We Expected

Unfortunately, this is not the Olympic Torch 
My official "Olympic Glow" has taken a bit of a tarnishing lately.  For the 3rd night in a row there have been riots in the streets of London, starting in Tottenham in the north of the city, now moving throughout London and even to other cities like Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester.

Not **exactly** great PR for London as it looks to host the Olympics 353 days from now.  On twitter, the usual tweets of excitement were replaced by tweets like, "Looting:  The New Olympic Sport" and "Can't wait for the Olympics.....should be a riot!"  There was also my favorite, "Good luck with the Olympics, London.  I'm outta here."  Scotland Yard has made it a point all along to assure the millions of tourists it will be sure to welcome next summer they are safe and they have everything under control.  The events this week have made some question whether or not that is actually the truth.

London has a long, sorted history with riots.  During the student riots in November the situation was mostly peaceful and the pockets of disturbance were quickly squelched.  These riots, sparked by a police shooting, seem to be much more spontaneous in nature.  During the royal wedding in April there was tremendous planning and no incidents.  I'm sure the security planning for the Olympic Games is beyond anything ever undertaken before in the UK and that these extraordinary measures will produce a safe and secure event for everyone.  By the way, if anyone reading this has tickets  and doesn't want to go please send your tickets to me cause I will.

In the meantime, tonight's images of flames and riot police will be replaced tomorrow with Londoners with brooms and garbage bags cleaning the city.  Already, twitter has a trending hashtag, #riotcleanup.  After all, this city is hosting the Olympics in 353 days.  Citius, Altius, Fortius.  Faster, Higher, Stronger.

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