THE BLOG
10/08/2011 18:31 BST | Updated 10/10/2011 06:12 BST

Operation Cup of Tea: The Anti-Riot Movement

Stay at home, put the kettle on, pull out your best china and choose your brew. The good people of England are partaking in an anti-riot.

Stay at home, put the kettle on, pull out your best china and choose your brew. The good people of England are partaking in an anti-riot.

Operation Cup of Tea began as a facebook event and it has attracted over two hundred thousand attendees overnight. It is the brainchild of Sam Pepper, who witnessed the devastation of the riots in Croydon first hand.

Pepper says, "What I'm doing is different. Everyone else is concentrating on getting people off the streets, and asking what the cause is. I say leave them to it. Operation Cup of Tea shows that we can come together as a group and have a cup of tea. It is as simple as that."

So why has such a simple idea had such an impact? "I think it has gone so big because everyone in this country loves a cup of tea and everyone wants to come together," Pepper says.

The calming properties of a cuppa are well documented, so it's no surprise that this campaign is becoming a forum for group therapy. Members are encouraged to upload photos posing with their cup of tea.

"I think people feel a lot safer when they see other people with their cup of tea. It's also funny, the photos are great and I think people are joining and having a bit of a giggle," says Pepper.

Members have posted mugs with slogans such as "Make tea not war" and "Why the hell can't we all just sit in a circle and sing kumbaya?".

Behind the clever marketing, there is a philanthropic mission that Pepper, a local of Croydon, is spearheading.

"Someone has approached me to make tea products, branded Operation Cup of Tea, and we will be selling it. All the money will go to people affected by the riots, people who have lost their homes," Pepper says.

This will be the first charity established to aid the victims. It will be run on a case-by-case basis. Pepper has done all this in a few days, single handedly. "I have had to design a website, contact many people, have logos designed. I don't know how I am going to manage," he says.

The website should go live tonight, at operationcupoftea.com