Thursday, August 11, 2011
Riots have rocked the UK this week. Liverpool has been no exception. On Monday night the Liverpool riots erupted with car burnings and battles with the police.
I was in Liverpool on Saturday, just two days before the riots broke out. I traveled there on a train from Llandudno, where I had spent the previous day. I had five hours to explore the city before making my way to Manchester, which has subsequently been plagued with the Manchester riots.
On Saturday Liverpool was calm and there were no signs of the violence and riots that were about to erupt throughout the country. In fact, it was quite the contrary. When I arrived at Liverpool Lime Street station and made my way up the street to visit the Walker Art Gallery, the Liverpool Pride Parade was just starting.
Throngs of people met in the city center and paraded to my next destination, the Albert Dock.
While I made my way through the brand new Museum of Liverpool and some great modern art exhibitions at the Tate Liverpool, bands played and the paraders celebrated peacefully on the banks of the river.
When I left the Albert Dock and made my way to the pedestrianized Matthew Street to check out The Cavern—a subterranean bar where The Beatles got their start—whole city streets were blocked off for Liverpool Pride Parade parties. People were dancing to live music, and the city had a celebratory atmosphere that in no way portended the start of the Liverpool riots two days later.
Indeed, as I walked around the historic streets and took in the beautiful architecture of the city center and the pretty green spaces in St John’s Garden, nothing could have convinced me that just 48 hours from my departure the Liverpool riots would begin. I sincerely hope that the worst of the violence has ended there, and that locals and visitors alike will be able to enjoy Liverpool again as much as I did.