‘Heroine of Hackney’ Pauline runs for council

13:37 16 March 2012

Pauline Pearce is standing as a Lib Dem candidate in Hackney Central

Pauline Pearce is standing as a Lib Dem candidate in Hackney Central

CARMEN VALINO ALL RIGHTS

Brandishing the same walking stick she shook at looters during the London riots, heroine of Hackney Pauline Pearce hit the streets to campaign for moral standards - and the Liberal Democrats.

Mobile phone footage of Pauline, 46, lambasting looters as they wreaked havoc in Hackney last August was the start of a “weird and wonderful” few months for the self-confessed former drug dealer.

Her impassioned blast at criminals destroying local shops and properties went viral online, propelling Pauline into the spotlight as the voice of a civil society shocked by scenes of anarchy on the doorstep.

Now Pauline, who has turned her back on crime, is trying to capture votes in the ballot box by running for council in a Hackney Central ward by-election.

The wooden stick is still present – baring scars from that night.

The plastic nub at the bottom of it partially melted when a thug pushed her against a burning car – pinning her temporarily to the wreck.

Laughing off the episode as “a Tom and Jerry cartoon moment,” Pauline warned the simmering tensions which exploded last August could boil over yet again, this year.

“I think there could be more riots this year if the government does not shape up quick; it’s the calm before the storm if they do not stop the cuts - which are happening every day,” she said.

“People were rioting because they are struggling to make ends meet – the cuts are causing more problems.”

Slamming the impact upon Hackney of the government’s austerity agenda could be tricky for Pauline, while standing for the Liberal Democrats - one half of the coalition.

The term poli-trick-ans is a term for elected representative among some of her Rasta friends, said the grandmother from Dalston.

But no record in politics and strong community ties may be a boon for Pauline’s bid for a Town Hall seat - judging by how many people come to speak with her on the walkabout from Hackney Central station to the Senior Citizens club in Shellness Road.

For now Pauline is revelling in her novice status.

“I’ve been in jail, I’ve been involved in gangs, I used to deal drugs,” she said. “But now I am a symbol of the second chance and I want to help. I don’t want to be one of those poli-trick-ans.

“I want to continue to be that symbol of someone standing up for right and for people in the community, via political engagement.”

Policing, in particular stop and search tactics by police, is a big issue for her.

“You cannot moan about things going wrong if you do not try to make a change. You cannot stand on the outside all the time.

“In Hackney the Lib Dems are out on the estates, while Labour is not. You have to book appointments at surgeries to see them - Hackney people don’t want formalities, we want realities.”

Hackney is a stronghold for Labour - with all but eight seats under its control. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems hold three. That is the reality for Pauline to overcome ahead of polling day on May 3.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Friday, May 29, 2015
The attack happened on Saturday on the canal towpath between Camden High Street and Kentish Town Road. Picture: GoogleStreetview

A homeless man has suffered a fractured skull and loss of hearing after being beaten by a man wielding a log in Camden.

Thursday, May 28, 2015
Two new train strikes are planned for June 4 and June 9  (Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images)

Network Rail workers are to stage two strikes next month after a new pay offer was rejected.

Thursday, May 28, 2015
Police hold a man, during the anti-austerity protest in Whitehall, as protesters mark their opposition to measures set out in the Queen's Speech, following the State Opening of Parliament.

Five people were arrested in London last night after thousands of anti-austerity protesters marched against austerity measures by the Conservative government following the State Opening of Parliament.

Thursday, May 28, 2015
One More Time, 2015, by Royal Academician Cornelia Parker for Terrace Wires at St Pancras International station, co-presented by HS1 Ltd. and the Royal Academy of Arts [Tim Whitby, Getty Images]

Millions of commuters at St Pancras might be a bit confused but definitely won’t need a watch thanks to a new sculpture by Cornelia Parker.

Thursday, May 28, 2015
(Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A London artist has started a campaign for an anti-Margaret Thatcher museum in an attempt to “reclaim” her legacy from “sycophants” like David Cameron and Tony Blair.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

Read more
You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more
Time to experience the dizzy heights of London's tallest attraction!

Morgan Pryce, commercial property experts based in London are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Shard viewing platform in the city itself.

Read more