Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Illegals against illegals

I was just entering the shopping precinct when I realised that a couple of guys ahead of me were fighting, with two appearing in support. People stopped to stare, but only one -- the guy in an ill-fitting suit who had earlier crossed a pedestrian crossing with me -- went forward, held out his hand and told them calmly and firmly to 'break it up'.

He appeared to be so casual, so cool, as if he had broken up many fights before. I guess at six-foot-something he was not in awe of the two smaller men fighting. One was a dark-haired Chinese and the other a very blond younger man.

It looked like things had quietened down as I walked on. I saw a couple of security guards for the shopping centre outside which this was taking place and told them. Obviously as the fight was 'outside' the building itself, it was not really their responsibility. Nevertheless they went to investigate.

I walked on a bit, stopped, turned and had a look. The guys were at each other again. I decided that it was time to put my mobile phone to use. Called 999.

Eventually (I had a choice of fire or ambulance) put to the police after my mobile number had been announced. Gave them a location, but they seemed rather confused as to where I was.

I kept going: It's two Chinese men and two white men. I'm not sure if it's broken up, O, they are fighting again.

Police Officer: Is any one injured?

By this time one of the men, a Chinese, was standing not ten feet from me. He was wiping blood from his face.

Me: One is wiping his face. He is bleeding a little.

PO: Is he on the floor?

Me: He's standing.

PO: Do you think you need police presence?

Me: I don't know. Wait, let me find out.

I walked over to the security guards who were now standing by the injured men. I asked one if they needed the police.

'Don't know. Ask him,' he pointed at the injured man.

So I turned and asked, 'Do you need the police?'

No answer.

Me: Ni xu yao jing cha ma? [Do you need the police?]

Man with blood on his face: Mei yong le, ta yi jing pao diao le. [It's useless. He has already run away.]

Me: Bu xu yao jing cha? [No need for the police?]

Man's wife: Mei yong le, yi jing pao diao le. [It's useless now. Already run away.]

Me: Dao di shen me(r) shi? [What actually happened?]

Man: Ta tou le wo de yan jing yi ci, jai hui lai tou. [He has stolen spectacles (shades) from me before, and he came back to steal again.]

Me: Ni de yan jing? Ni mai de yan jing? [Your spectacles? The ones that you are selling?]

Man: Dui. [Correct.]

Me: Ni xian jai hai xu yao jing cha ma? [Do you still want the police?]

Man: Ta yi jing pao diao le. Mei yong le. [He has run away. No use.]

So I went back to the police officer on the phone: Chinese-speaking. Apparently the other man has run away. He had stolen some spectacles being sold by this man. It's all illegal any way. I don't know what you can do about it. This is happening all the time. Perhaps you need more policing here.

PO: We'll take your advice into consideration.

Me: Sorry to take up your time.

PO: That's OK. Thank you.

I do not know what I was most amazed by: that a man actually tried to break up a fight all by himself, that I managed to keep so calm, that the police officer was so patient and focused (if a bit confused), that I just switched between languages without thinking, that though the Chinese man was speaking a strange dialect with his wife, we could all communicate in the 'common Chinese language', or that this is possibly another scenario of illegals taking advantage of other illegals.

Of course one of those white men who allegedly stole those shades might be fully legal British subjects. (But this area of London is crawling with Eastern European young men who seem to spend all their time drinking expensive coffee at the coffee bars. Shop signs are now in Polish and Russian.)

It may also be that this Chinese man (who appeared to have his wife, mother and child in tow) is fully legal in the country, but was still hawking illegally. The former knows that the latter will not report the theft to the police. So he comes back again and again to steal. Man gets fed up. Man tries to reason with other man, but gets beaten up instead.

What can I do? First of all, is it my problem? No, at one level, because I could walk away and let six-foot-something men sort these fights out.

On another level, yes, because I cannot stand people bullying others.

Migrants bullying other migrants is bullying. Ministers not listening to what the people want being done are also bullying, because they are in a position of power to do something if only there is political will to do so, us the people by ourselves are not, but we have to live by the consequences of their inaction.

A fight here and a fight there and soon the neighbourhood will descend into a no-go area. I am not going to be bullied into this sitation, or am I?

The truth is our local MP has recently been sacked for his incompetence as a junior minister at the Home Office. Illegal migrants, often controlled by gangmasters, are harrassing shoppers in his very own constituency. Does he care? Perhaps. But not enough, obviously.

I am planning to complain formally to this MP soon, and I am going to contact a journalism student from China who used to live with us to see if it's worth her broadcasting station doing a story about the Chinese illegals here.

Back to Organic-Ally.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First of all, any Polish workers you have seen in London are not "illegals." Poland is a member of the European Union, and its citizens are legally entitled to live and work in the UK.

Secondly, you may have the impression that Eastern European immigrants "spend all their time drinking expensive coffee at the coffee bars" (though how could you possibly know that without spending all day in coffee bars yourself?), but all the studies I have seen suggest that in reality they work far longer hours for far less pay than their native-born British counterparts. (Why else would the Brits be so concerned about Poles "stealing" their jobs?)

I expected better from an "ethical" blog than this Daily-Mail style prejudice!