Fleming Drive is just one street in London {#LdnOnt}

PLEASE NOTE THERE IS FOUL LANGUAGE IN SOME OF THE IMAGES AND VIDEOS

We’re a small city of under 400,000 residents, yet national and international news stations were focused on London, Ontario this weekend.

It’s not because we did something heroic like discovered a cure for cancer or achieved greatness in the world of sports. Sadly we made headlines because we were home to the Fleming Riot.  This is not something we are proud of. Nor is it something we wish to be associated with.

News coverage of the devastating events that took place on St. Patrick’s Day coined the Fleming Riot (after the name of the street where the chaos took place) is aplenty so I won’t bother recapping in this post. You can get caught up here and here.

I do want to focus on the reputation that this event has given to London. The number of suspects involved in the rioting is estimated to be from 700 offenders to a couple of thousand. Guess what, that’s only 0.25% of our population. And chances are that most of the accused are not natives of London but students from different cities that attend Fanshawe College.

WE MADE GLOBAL NEWS BUT FOR THE WRONG REASONS

Now Londoners are angry and want to see justice served. The #LdnOnt hashtag on Twitter was ablaze on Sunday with many tweeters speculating on what the outcome should be for those involved in the disturbance. With over $100,000 estimated in damages and our reputation dragged through the mud, it’s evident that we want to see redemption.

From a petition on Change.org put in place to suggest that the guilty Fanshawe rioters should be expelled to a Facebook group set up to help identify the participants through video footage and photos, London is coming together to try to right this wrong.

With the use of social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, it’s easier than ever to identify those involved in criminal activity like the Fleming Riot. Facebook users are being urged to update their status to display the following:

Fanshawe students that care; show the city of London (and the world) how great you really are. Help undo what your colleagues have so harmfully done. Head over to Fleming Drive tomorrow with garbage bags, shovels and whatever else you can think of-and pitch in. Help clean up the area and restore Fanshawe’s great reputation. You, and London, deserve it.

And ‘friends’ of the accused and sharing screen captures of those who are silly enough to share their involvement in the riot on Facebook & Twitter. See images below. Note that last names have been removed.

 

NOT GOOD TO BE A FANSHAWE GRAD

Many current and past students are upset at the thought of the good Fanshawe name being tainted by the riots on Saturday. A campaign has been mentioned to ban the hiring of Fanshawe College graduates to send a message to the school. But who does that hurt? And what purpose does this serve? Again, the number of students involved is a small fraction in comparison to the overall number of enrolled students.

But what can be done to send a message to students that this behaviour will not be tolerated? And what can we do to show all those with eyes on London that Fleming Drive is just ONE street in London? That we are in fact a great city with a strong culture and good people and good families?

THE CHILDREN OF THE FUTURE

If you visit the open Facebook Group, Fleming Riots St. Pat’s Day 2012 and scroll through the disturbing images, it becomes clear that there is a serious problem with some of today’s youth. Not only was their behaviour ridiculous and unspeakable, but by viewing their tweets and FB updates it’s obvious that there is no remorse but pride and boastfulness instead.

How can we be sure our own children won’t turn out this way and even more upsetting, how can we protect our children from people like this?

If you have any information on the Fleming Riot or recognize anyone from the videos or photos, please contact the London Police.

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