Twitter at the heart of community clean up

Almost as quickly as communities collapsed into chaos and terror, clean up teams sprung into action, many organised by social networking sites such as Twitter

Despite the negativity often attached to social networking sites, Twitter seems to be at the hub of community spirit as people come together to organise mass clean ups around the capital following the riots.

One Twitter campaign, @riotcleanuphas already amassed 87, 000 followers and is inspiring a host of similar efforts in cities around the country which have also been hit by riots and looting over the past five days.

Dan Thompson, creator of @riotcleanup told the BBC: ‘The footage of high streets and independent shops burning was terrifying to watch and I wanted to find a way to help that was quick, simple and practical.’

He says seeing hundreds of people in Clapham waving brooms in the air was a symbol of what Londoners and the British people stand fo, claiming it was phenomenal to behold.

‘Hopefully we can step this clean up operation up over the next few days and you can all work hand-in-hand with your local councils,’ was posted by @riotcleanup last night.

The clean up efforts have brought a shared community spirit back to the people of neighbourhoods shaken by the sudden and senseless violence, which sprang from the killing of Mark Duggan by police a week ago.

BBC journalist Michael Hurst says about 300 to 400 people gathered to help with the clean up effort organised online. ‘Sunshine, high spirits, lots of joking and community vibe,’ he says.

And in Birmingaham Twitter is also mobilising support and community spirit. ‘@RiotCleanUpBrum here to show support for our local businesses and pride in our Brummie community. RT IF YOU LOVE BIRMINGHAM!’

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