(BBC) Further riots in London as violence spreads across England

Amateur footage appears to show a gang of youths charging at police in south-east London

Rioting has spread across London on a third night of violence, with unrest flaring in other English cities.

An extra 1,700 police officers were deployed in London, where shops were looted and buildings were set alight.

Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham and Bristol also saw violence.

Read it all and BBC has a live website here.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

4 comments on “(BBC) Further riots in London as violence spreads across England

  1. Kendall Harmon says:

    I just watched BBC World News and David Eades actually said this to him was reminiscent of the Blitz. Shocking. Prayers for England, her cities in particular, and the police and local leaders this day….

  2. St. Nikao says:

    They need to exercise deterrents sufficient to quell the mis-behaviors.

  3. evan miller says:

    Trading the batons of the mounted police for sabers would be a start…

  4. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Prayers would be good, for which we are most grateful. This is just my take on things:

    There appear to be a number of different things going on here:

    A young man in Tottenham, North London was shot by Police, still a pretty rare occurence here. The place where he was shot is a deprived and crime ridden area noted for gangs, drug dealing and general deprivation. Some years ago it was where the Broadwater Farm riots which led to the brutal murder of a young policeman took place.

    Initially the Police claimed that the young man had fired upon them and a bullet had lodged in a police radio. Subsequently it became apparent that the gun he supposedly fired was not capable of firing live rounds, and the bullet in the police radio could not have come from it.

    So the family started asking questions. There was no response from the Police; much of the political and official class are on holiday, and the senior management of the police have resigned in the wake of the News International crisis – so nobody apparently was in charge. The young man’s family organised a peaceful march.

    As happens, the march was joined by outsiders, and turned into a riot in Tottenham. Then over the last few nights riots and mayhem have broken out over other areas of London, and then last night spread to other cities: Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol, outer Essex and Nottingham. It is early evening here, and there are a few reports coming in of trouble in Midlands towns, but in London where last night 6,000 police officers were on duty, apparently 16,000 will be brought in this evening.

    There seems to be a mixed picture of who is involved:

    1. The initial peaceful protests were by the family and community of the shot man. This seems to have been picked up by the criminal gangs of his area, so it rather raises the question of who exactly he is. However, this initial group do seem to have been peaceful and to have been hijacked by others.

    2. Then we saw something very curious. Using social networking, twitter and facebook, and mobile phones word seems to have been passed out of other targets and riots, looting and arson has broken out in other areas. There does seem to be a link in this group with organisation, access to expensive communication and transport. Reports have been of scouting parties driving round looking for opportunities and then communicating via mobile phones to others in cars and on bicycles. Shortly thereafter large numbers of people have arrived and trouble has started. There are reports of people who appear to be organising what is going on, and in particular the more anonymous BlackBerry Messaging service appears to have been used. BlackBerries are expensive, so access to this will only be available to those who are well off or those who are criminal and probably involved with the drugs trade, so it may well be that this is inter-gang criminal organised, or by the anarchist groups who get involved in political protests. Certainly today some of those arrested have at Court turned out to have come from outside the area and include students, those with jobs, and certainly not an excluded underclass. The techniques used in Egypt and the Arab Spring have been used for much darker purposes.

    3. Then others have joined in from local youth, again using the social media, although not apparently among the organisers. Many of these are indeed the disaffected black and white working class youths without jobs, much education, and prospects. Often from homes where there is no discipline or much home life, many of these have disasterous backgrounds and quite a number suffer from behavioural or learning difficulties: ADHD or ADD. Many are on drugs, and such facilities as there are for them have borne many of the budget cuts in the last year.

    4. then finally and most unpleasantly among the rioters there are the opportunists: the thieves, muggers, the ‘greedy’ as they have been termed. Often part of groups #2 and 3 above, they have been using the chaos to loot, steal, mug and victimise including preying on other youngsters in the crowds.

    So there is a very mixed picture of what is going on among the protests and riots.

    Then two further groups are worth mentioning:
    5. Using social media, appeals have been sent out to people in the affected areas to come out and clean up the neighborhoods. This has produced a massive response, and an encouraging one as people have been spontaneously volunteering to clean up and take back their communities from the rioters; and finally

    6. The churches – many of the Christian groups have sprung into action. There are two prayer threads on twitter – one for London and one for England. In London, the Bishop of Edmonton went to Tottenham and there were some prayers for the community which was shown on the news last night. It appeared difficult because there was building hostility in the area but I don’t know what the outcome was.

    The Church of England has issued a useful prayer so we would appreciate your prayers as well.