|Local Ealing Councillor Jon Ball Witnessed Some of Last Night's Events|
Here he gives his account of what he saw
Last night I saw things I thought I'd never see - a line of riot police across The Mall, yobs running around Ealing smashing everything in their path and most shockingly of all flames leaping out of the flats above the Ealing Green local supermarket (formerly Budgens).
I know someone who lives upstairs who has now lost her home and almost all her possessions of sentimental value. It was sheer good fortune that nobody was killed in that cowardly attack.
The police were hopelessly outnumbered. They bravely held their line in the Mall and made shield charges from there, but there was little they could do about the lawlessness either side of them - around Haven Green and Ealing Green. Police put out some car fires but rioters started more. I drove round here but retreated when a bottle hit my car.
Later a convoy of armoured riot vans arrived and the police were able to pursue the rioters to West Ealing and force them to disperse.
Gradually peace returned to Ealing's streets but burnt out cars and bins still littered the streets and the smell of the still burning building was heavy in the air.
Meanwhile residents were keeping in touch on twitter and Facebook. Social media which can be used by rioters for evil was used by residents for good to set up a squad of cleanup volunteers overnight who arrived in their hundreds at the Ealing Horse this morning carrying their brooms.
It is great to see the community spirit that we have in Ealing, which comes to the fore in this adversity - the spirit of the blitz.
The police advise residents to stay at home after 7pm tonight in case there is more violence, which is a sensible precaution but let's hope this proves to be a one off.
Councillor Jon Ball
See Jon's pictures here
09 Aug 2011