By Will Stone, in today’s Morning Star:
A HACKNEY woman watched online by almost a million nationwide after she was videoed denouncing the riots spoke exclusively to the Morning Star on Monday following her speech.
Dalston resident Pauline Pearce gathered a crowd in Hackney’s Clarence Road shortly before 9.30pm on Monday night as rioters and stragglers hung about in the street among burnt out cars, vans, bicycles and motorbikes.
Masked youths threw stones and bricks at riot police while others continued to loot an off license that was broken into earlier in the day.
Glass bottles were lobbed at newly arriving riot police vans entering Clarence Road to provide back-up to the handful of officers trying in vein to keep the road under control.
Holding a walking stick and standing in front of a graffitied was, Ms Pearce bravely addressed rioters holding bricks and stones who had stopped to listen to her.
She told onlookers: “Go home. People need to get back to reality not blowing up people’s property or burning up people’s shops when they’ve worked so hard to start their own business.
“The woman up the street, she’s working hard to make her business work and you lot want to go and burn it up for what? Just to say that you’re warring and you’re ‘bad man.’
“This is about a man who got shot in Tottenham, not about having fun and busting up the place. Get real.
“You should be doing it for a cause. If we’re fighting for a cause, let’s fight for a cause. You lot piss me off. I’m ashamed to be a Hackney person.
“We’re not all gathering together and fighting for a cause.
“We’re running down Foot Locker to get new shoes.”
Moments later she told the Morning Star: “I feel hurt by what I’m seeing. This is not what I’ve lived here for decades to witness.
“This is a riot for rioting’s sake. It’s not about fighting for a cause or against injustice. That’s what real protesting should be about.
“Instead I’m seeing my local community being smashed up around me, young children crying, innocent people’s cars and bikes being destroyed and families being terrorised by threat of being burned alive.”