Well done to all the 'Wombles' who turned out this morning to help clear up communities damaged by last night's riots. Council workers in Hackney and Camden had been out since the early hours doing an amazing job setting the streets to rights but many people still showed up, thanks to the wide dissemination of the Clean Up London campaign online, meaing their website fell over almost immediately but @riotcleanup kept everyone posted and continues to do so.
Surplus 'Wombles' were dispatched from Hackney and Camden to assist at Clapham Junction. Martin Deutsch was at the Town Hall in Hackney at 10am this morning and reports that, "Before people headed off [to Clapham Junction], the vicar of St John at Hackney led us down to Clarence Road (which is where most of the skirmishes took place last night) to show our solidarity. There was also a slightly farcical (though well-meaning) attempt to form a circle and have a moment's silence, which worked fine until a pick-up truck tried to get through it..."
At the time of writing, the Clapham crew are still being held at the train station as it's unsafe to start cleaning yet.
Police, however, were applauded by the crowds in Clapham earlier and over half a million people have 'liked' the Facebook group: Supporting the Met Police against the London rioters. Officers who have policed the riots feel embattled and are surely knackered. They need our support and gratitude for what must seem like a thankless task. David Cameron today announced there will be 16,000 police officers on our streets tonight.
Aside from cleaning up, Londoners are responding in many other positive ways.
Battersea Arts Centre is offering "free tea and coffee to anyone who wants to pop into the building today for a bit of peace and quiet and some friendly faces" but will close at 16:30 today so they can all get home safely. Tonight's show has been cancelled.
You might not know who lives next door, but checking on your neighbours is good. As @corfmeister notes on Twitter, 'If any good can come from madness of past days let it be neighbours talking to each other more. Just had fantastic 30 min chat with mine.'
People are rallying support for those who've lost their homes: @shotformeat says 'help people made homeless by #londonriots by donating bedding/clothes to Apex House, 820 Seven Sisters Road, London N15 5PQ' and @HornseyJournal says that Budgens Crouch End is a collection points for 'clothes and other donations for riot homeless.'
There's also some advice online about insurance for people with businesses affected by the riots.
The simplest act of kindness and messages of hope do help. @helenseamons tweeted 'feel quite moved by the hand painted sign at Finsbury Park this morn: "Be nice to other Londoners"'
What else can we do? Please let us know of other positive action happening in your 'hood.
The last thing any of us want is to see more trouble tonight. But if it kicks off again, take note of Snipe London's 'Five Ways You Shouldn't Respond to the Looting'.