Since I was a kid, I had this idea that England was a country where everything was better than Brazil.
The education, public transport, economy, security system and even the Monarchy looked better than Democracy.
So time passed and I moved to London, in 2009. I was so happy, I had Italian citizenship so no-one could say I was illegal here. It was my right to be in this place I dreamed about. Slowly I found out that my idea of England was right and even, the dogs were better educated than in Brazil. They didn’t bark or ran like crazy when they saw a pigeon… What a place!
Unfortunately, in the past years a lot of things changed. To me, everything started with the riots, in 2011, when thousands of people rioted in different places in London following fatal police shooting of Mark Duggan.
At that time, I wrote about it on my blog.
Many properties were raided, burned and looted. People began to fill up with food and drinks as if they were getting ready for a war. That was the first time, living in London, that I would hear so many ambulance siren, police cars and fire engines. Constantly, non stop. It reminded me a bit of Brazil, when we have problems with drug dealers or robbers.
The chats with friends in pubs were about conspiracy and terrorist attack. Others will say that the country was bankrupt.
Time passed and on 22nd of March 2017, a terrorist attack took place in Westminster when the 52-year old Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians on the pavement injuring more than 50 people. In total six people died, including the attacker.
That was scary but then, a month later, on 22nd of May, Salman Ramadan Abedi, a 22 year-old detonated a homemade bomb at the exit of Manchester Arena, in Manchester killing 23 adults and children that went there for Ariana Grande show.
After that I thought, ‘wow, things are getting dark in England’. I started calling my parents more often to calm her down, ‘Come on mum, England has Scotland Yard, we will be safe.’ My dad said ‘Yeah, we have people killing each other every day here in São Paulo and now it looks like that is happening the same in England.’ I had to agree. The amount of news about stabbed, robbery and other tragedies that used to be rare, now was daily on the newspapers, like in Brazil.
On 3rd of June, an attack took place in London Bridge when a van mounted the pavement into the pedestrians. To make things worse, three male occupants ran to Borough Market area and stabbed people with knifes. In total, eight people were killed and 48 were injured.
Three attacks in three months made me think: was that chat about conspiracy and terrorist attacks in 2011 a future forecast?
The day after the third attack I went to the city and the streets were empty. I had a déjà vu. Back in São Paulo 2006, when the worst outbreak violence was directed against security forces and civilians linked with PCC criminal organization. I was in my friend’s house in South of São Paulo and my dad begged me to come back home, in North. It was 10 pm and I was one of the few cars in the roads. When I drove in front of ROTA building, special police force that prevents attacks and defence urban areas, a Blazer stopped next to me. I looked to my right and five men from ROTA had their guns out in hands. Two were pointing at me. When they realised I was just an ordinary girl, one of then shouted: ‘Go home’ and I went.
ROTA – By Naiara Albuquerque (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Back in London 2017, Fear, love, Brexit, election, we will stand together… All those messages were popping up in all social medias and I thought: ‘where is that England where everything works?
I wasn’t sure anymore but I still had some hope.
Unfortunately, before 1 am on 14th of June, a residential high rise building with 120 homes was on fire in Kensington, West London. The blaze started on one side of the tower block and sadly engulf it in flames from the second floor to the top.
Seen that scene on the tv made me cry. It was so sad, so sad that it broke my heart.
The cause of the fire is so far (14th of June 19h30) unknown and at the moment, 12 people died, 68 have been taken to six hospitals with 18 in a critical condition.
Again, some people talk about conspiracy but It is so sad to see those who worked their lives to buy a flat an loose everything, just as it happens in Brazil…
What is going on with you England?
With love and respect to those who lost their relatives and friends in any brutal incident, Marcelli D’Andrea
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