Page 19

Local hero


y name is Tariq Jahan and One man was killed, hundreds I come to speak for what injured. happened to my son. Today we stand here to plead with On the evening of August 10 2011 all our youth to remain calm, for our Tariq Jahan’s 21-year-old son Haroon communities to stand united. and two others were run over and Now rumours had spread again, killed on Dudley Road, Winson carried on social networks and blogs. Green, Birmingham. The following People were coming to Birmingham. day Tariq faced the media clutching a People from Manchester, Nottingham, single piece of paper. Leicester and Derby. They were Winson Green was about to be Step forward if you want to lose angry, they wanted revenge. torn apart. It is an economically poor your sons, otherwise calm down and Why are we doing this?? I’ll ask community, close to the city centre, go home. my son. and home to an imposing prison with They did. Birmingham was As Tariq was speaking a crowd of spared more tragedy. In less high-employment and low prospects. community leaders looked away from than 90 seconds Tariq Jahan had In 2005, unfounded rumours spread the cameras and towards the father. given a calm speech that moved a that ignited race riots over two nights. Some wiped away tears. community, a city and a country.

But still the question remains. Why did the riots happen? Many have said they were due to social or economic factors. Could the riots be down to the youth displaying their aggression and anger? Scrapped E.M.A and rising tuition fees have combined with the highest youth unemployment in years. It begs the question; do the young people who took part in the riots have a future anyway, even

without being convicted with criminal records? I’m in no way saying that this is a just reason for violence and destruction, but one of the points I made in the radio broadcast was that adults can express their political opinions through voting, but how can young people do that? I’m able to write for a magazine like this one but not everyone has that opportunity.

I strongly believe that more programs need to be set up so that young people can voice their opinions. We are the future generation, we should have an influence in the world we are growing up in, or at the very least be able to express our opinions in matters that affect us. follow us on twitter: @SL_Magazine

SL Magazine Issue 3  

As the dust begins to settle from the August riots, issue 3 of SL Magazine brings together the reactions of young people in Birmingham, and...