Friday, September 15, 2006

"no ..... please no...!"

We were inside the shop when we heard the shouting.

The scene opened up as we all gazed out at a man walking up the street with a huge stick clenched in his fist, shouting and swearing. Then we saw another man terrified, cornered. We and the rest of the shop were transfixed at the scene. A drug dealer seeing off the competition.
As I look back I see Bethan mouthing "no ..... please no...!"

Then the violence exploded, a punch a headbutt a kick as the man reigned blows on the other. I run to the door of the shop and look over my shoulder at the other shoppers in hope that a posse would soon be at hand to stop the violence.

As I look back I see Bethan mouthing "no ..... please no...!"

My heart is torn - something needs to be done as the man staggers to his feet to be hit again. But as quickly as it started the scene is over. The stick brandisher drops his weapon and runs off to catch a bus. The beaten man gets to his feet and walks off shaking his head.

A little shaking hand almost in relief slips into mine. There's some things I wish my daughters didn't have to see.


jazztheo said...

Lord have mercy...

Kapten Clark said...

He stopped to catch a bus? Or because a little girl's "no, please, no" was heard as a prayer by Almighty God?

You've got a little warrior there! I think her words protected that man as surely as any posse could have!

Thomas said...

Bethan gives me Hope!

Eleanor Burne-Jones said...

I guess this is the moment when you and Bethan have one of those searching conversations about bystanding.

And the creative possibilities of collective and individual response.

And as you are raising a kid in a violent world, and you don't want them developing chronic anxiety you end on a note of hope, that we do have confidence that the authorities will eventually, with everyone's help and participation, get it right so our streets are safe?

Eleanor n/TSSF

Eleanor Burne-Jones said...

Sorry - just to clarify you were not a bystander, but others were? This same thing happened to me when I was out with the children in Cheetham Hill. My kids wanted to know what people should have done and looked to me with total confidence to tell them. I am still recovering from this demonstration of trust!