Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
Live Blogging The Riots

Thought it might be fun to live blog tonight's riot. Latest entries first. This page will auto-reload every four minutes.

22.18, home

All still quiet in SW5. Hitting the always-popular hay.

21.03, home

Anna calling her law school colleague, Alice, who lives in Peckham, one of the afflicted areas…

Signing off for a bit now. We're going to have a nice curry and watch Band of Brothers.

If you can't live without non-stop coverage, I commend you to the live BBC news stream at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14449675, which will more or less just cut out the middleman that is me…

20.28, home

This is good, too – a note calling for people to patrol the roads around Ealing pushed through residents' doors.

"And one free man defending his home…"

20.04, home

Uproarious laughter from Anna, followed by "God bless my northern brothers…"

Sign on the door of Subway in Manchester.

20.00, home

Periodic exclamations from Anna sat in front of the news:

"London's jails filled up last night! They ran out of cells. Had to send people to Essex."
"Gotta love a dog. A dog will get the job done. Big, stalwart police hounds."
"It's kicked off in Manchester now…"
"Gangs of racists are now roaming the streets in Enfield! Oh, no… A hundred white men shouting, 'Get the Pakis'…"

19.16, home

Anna: "The Welsh are here! They've brought in police officers from Wales!"

Still totally quiet here. Only the sound of my blender…

19.07, still safe at home

Anna's watching a lovely video of Claphamites out cleaning up their own neighbourhood.

Of course, this is just the antidote to the shitbird rioter/looters. (That, and locking them up forever, along with their parents – and then getting on with some mandatory sterilization…)

Here is is:

18.58, (yes, still) home

Anna: "I wouldn't want to be in Birmingham tonight."

Me (sotto voce): "Or any night…"

Anna (clutching chest): "They attacked Harvy Nics…"

This is now basically just Anna watching online news, calling it out, and me typing it up. Which, obviously, you could have just watched it yourself…

18.47, home

And so my back peddling begins.

Anna informs me that, pace my comments about the immunity of RBK&C below… in fact, Hugo Boss in Sloane Square got taken out last night. (Boss? Hugo Boss?) And there was a little mayhem in Notting Hill Gate.

And thusly is my protective bubble of poshness popped.

Anna watching BBC across from me. "Local residents forming human chains," she says, "to protect their homes!" Bless.

18.39, home

Anna home safely.

"Have you been following the news?" she asks.

"I've been making the news," I reply, defensively, pointing at this screen.

She tells me that Cameron has authorized the use of rubber bullets. Rock.

16,000 police on the streets tonight. I know a couple of them. Godspeed, good luck, and stay safe, I've been texting and e-mailing.

"Community clean-ups in Clapham," Anna says. That's the London, and those the Londoners, I know and love.

18.20, home

Okay, got enough entries up for now. Going to have my frappe. Pardon blogging interegnum.

Oh, while you wait for me to frap, here's my friend Sangita, out braving the mean streets last night:


Poor woman's losing some serious sleep, evidently.

18.02, home

Home and all settled.

Alex sends a text (in response to mine):

Yeah, if it weren't for the
current financial crisis in the US
these riots would be making
headline news. I would tell you to
go load your gun, just in case, but
upon further reflection sadly,
you have no bullets…or a gun
for that matter. Well, at least you
have a fucking African club to
fight off the hooligans… ;-)
I light up and tell him that was exactly my plan: if they try to torch the building, I'm going to rush outside with the Masai war club he gave me that one Christmas (just about the only weapon I can legally have around here), along with a dodgy old canister of pepper spray.

But it's not going to happen. This is Kensington. As I've reassured loved ones, almost all the rioting is in places so dodgy I wouldn't go there, even under normal circumstances, on a bet.

And this is likely to be some very slow riot blogging from here on out…

17.58, outside my building

One of the longer-term building residents on front stoop with phone. Famously, he owns and parks a nice Audi on the street here.

He seems to be doing something about that.

17.46, walking back up Cromwell Road

A few sirens audible.

I send a text to a bunch of loved ones in the States: "Really lovely night for a riot."

And it is. Totally beautiful evening.

17.30, back by station, in Waitrose

Mob scene. (Albeit this store isn't well set up for high-traffic.) It's either panic buying, or Sainsburys being closed, or a bit of both.

I grab bananas, and ice, and soya milk – and a big bottle of Diet Coke, remembering we've got a bottle of Jack in.

Anna and I both might decide we need a drink tonight.

17.20, outside Sainsbury's on Cromwell Road

Sainsbury's shuttered, for the riots.

A few people outside peering in. "They must have closed for the riots."

I like to think they closed so their employees, all of whom live in the totally dodgy places where rioting is big, can get home safely.

This is RBK&C.

17.15, walking down Cromwell Road

Pass a big group of about eight Met officers.

I wave real big and say, "Good luck tonight! Good luck!

"Thanks," one says, smiling big.

17.02, on a District line train

Train stopped dead short of South Kensington Station.

Everyone a little spooked, honestly. Not less so, when the driver came on and said they had "a passenger taken ill" on the train ahead. Then came on a minute later saying they had "a passenger alarm" on the train ahead. W, actually, TF?

Train resumed, got off, no problems.

16.50, walking across Westminster Bridge

It's a funny old thing, living in a town with a 12-month high-gear tourist season.

Here were all these people awe-struckedly snapping pictures of Big Ben, fresh off the plane. I was getting ready for the riot. They were having their first few minutes' experience of London. Life's all timing, innit?

16.45, walking through Lambeth North

There was such a festive atmosphere, I thought I might stop off for a pint on the way home. But I didn't want to get stuck on a crowded train, so I thought maybe pop into the offy and pick up a bottle for the trip home.

On reflection, decided maybe tonight wasn't a great night to be drinking in public. Also, the offy didn't really have anything I fancied.

Carried on to (Westminster) Station.

About 16.00, at work

Someone busts into my music to tell me everyone's being sent home – "in case it kicks off early".

"You don't understand," I said. "I live in Kensington & Chelsea. I'm in absolutely no danger. Rioting's simply not the done thing."

Place cleared out sharp-ish – any excuse – and I was the last to leave. That was about 4.40pm.

  danger     london  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : NEMESIS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Nine - Cataclysm by Michael Stephen Fuchs

ARISEN, Book Ten - The Flood by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eleven - Deathmatch by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Twelve - Carnage by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Thirteen - The Siege by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Fourteen - Endgame by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Fickisms
ARISEN : Odyssey
ARISEN : Last Stand
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 1 - The Collapse
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 2 - Tribes
Black Squadron
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 3 - Dead Men Walking
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 4 - Duty
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 5 - The Last Raid
ARISEN : Fickisms ][ – This Time, It's Personal
ARISEN : Operators, Volume I - The Fall of the Third Temple
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