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In the past few days, I’ve had a few different conversations about the riots. In particular, we talked about what I call the ‘Broom Brigade’. These are the folks who were out with brooms the day after the worst rioting in Hackney, for example. We also had the street party activists who were keen to take a stand by celebrating their neighbourhood and supporting local shops (whose owner’s had stood ground during the riots to protect their properties and livelihoods). I wrote about all these folks a few weeks ago (Moral Courage, Divisions Between People and Self-Awareness). I said ‘good on ’em!’ while raising the question as to where were they during the rioting. I mean, what if 500 people had gathered out on the streets to claim them in the name of non-violence at the time of the rioting? Well, my friends – to my surprise – were quick to say that they had some discomfort with the broom brigade (we didn’t atually talk about the street party activists). What these different conversation has got me thinking about is: Yes, let’s talk to people who did the rioting to try and understand what the various causes might be – but what about the middle people, the predominantly middle (and I suspect, White) class people who grabbed their brooms and – according to one friend – allowed themselves to be photographed sweeping the street when in fact Hackney Council had dones a fabulous job getting things tidied up in the early morning hours? Because these people in these neighbourhoods have a significant role to play 

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