"We're not gathering together to fight for a cause, we're running down Foot Locker and thieving shoes, dirty thieves," shouted a British woman, shaking her cane at the wreckage, in a video that's now gone viral.
The Daily Telegraph has identified her as "Pauline Pearce, 45, a grandmother, jazz singer and community radio activist." She told the paper of her outburst being captured, "I had to say my piece and everyone stood and listened and some people were saying 'Hear hear.' "Some people even clapped, but now I feel embarrassed." She added, "I've got a big mouth and I said, 'If you don't want you face on camera then don't come out.'"
Her speech spread via Twitter, where it was viewed more than a million times. It was retweeted by former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott, who commented, "My kind of woman. Such guts."
Pearce's nickname is Lady P. A breast cancer survivor who served three years in prison on a cocaine charge (she says she was set up by someone who asked her to take pickled peppers on a flight from Jamaica), she told the Sun she was galvanized after her 18-year-old son was stabbed. Of the "youths," she said, "They need something, they need a community centre to unite all the community, because they are currently segregated by postcode and that's how the gangs start."
The other video that struck a chord was writer and radio host Darcus Howe's interview on the BBC, in which he told a clueless anchor, "I don't call it rioting, I call it an insurrection of the masses of the people. It is happening in Syria, it is happening in Clapham, it is happening in Liverpool, it is happening in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, and that is the nature of the historical moment." When she repeatedly asked him if he had taken part in riots or whether he condoned the current ones, he finally said, "Have some respect for an old West Indian negro and stop accusing me of rioting. Have some respect, I have grandchildren. You sound like an idiot."
'Hackney Speech Woman' Revealed To Be Local Jazz Singer [Telegraph]
Riot Heroine Grandma Is Named [The Sun]
Related: What's Happening With The London Riots? [MJ]