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London Riots: What This Means for Travelers

As many of you have been hearing, the last few days there have been some intense riots in one of my favorite cities in the world, London. Unfortunately, if you listen into the news they are only providing what is happening now and not sharing with us the root of why this is happening.

source: the news inn

Since I love this city so much, I am going to share with you guys some of the background as to why this is happening: On August 4, 2011, the Metropolitan Police Services had planned to arrest Mark Duggan, a black male that lives in Tottenham (to give you a local perspective, think Cabrini Green in Chicago) for allegedly dealing cocaine, selling guns and being a member of the 'Star Gang.' In the midst of their arrest, the police claim that Mark Duggan was carrying a loaded handgun and shot at them so in self-defense they shot right back and unfortunately killed the 29 year old male.

On top of that, the police officers where of course Caucasians (calling the racism card) and the British economy hasn't been doing so well (no jobs, no money = very unhappy communities). Thus, at first this was supposed to be a peaceful protest to bring awareness and resolution to these issues. Unfortunately, in matter of hours this peaceful protest turned into a nightmare. As we have seen in the news, people have been looting, burning buildings, and pretending to help others and then stealing from the victims. The situation has gotten out of control and many other cities across England are now being tormented with these riots.

With all of this said, what does this mean to us travelers? The U.S. and many other countries around the world, have asked their citizens to avoid traveling to U.K. until the riots have ceased. If you choose to avoid this alert, then please make sure to avoid visiting anything that is outside the main tourists locations within the city of London. At this moment, these locations have not been invaded or disturbed by the rioters so you will be safe there. If you are planning to stay at hotel that is anywhere near the riots, my recommendation is to cancel and re-book somewhere else, anywhere near the Tube's (aka metro/train) area 1 is pretty safe.

I hope the British government can take control again over this situation and help cease this before it gets worse. The last thing we need is for this to continue to grow and become a civil war (likely not to happen). If you haven't visited London, definitely add this city to your travel wish list. It is by far one of my most favorite cities in the world for it's diversity in culture, food, and I also have a personal fascination with the Royal Family so maybe that is why I love England so much.

Till the next travel post...

--Traveling Latina

Happy Anniversary Traveling Latina!

Friday Pic: London, England