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Sunday, August 7, 2011

London Riots

I tried to stay away from news. Really, I did. Put my head in other directions, thought big thoughts, read til my eyes burned. But this news is inescapable.

Starting with the Tottenham riots last night, over the police killing a man, Londoners are rioting in the streets. Tonight in Brixton and Enfield,  Dalston and Walthamstow, people poured out into the streets. They broke store and bank windows and raided, looted and ransacked.

People have had enough.


klahanie said...

I do understand what you're saying. I just don't understand why the rioters would vent their anger on the innocent, such as the shopkeepers.
In peace and hope, your way, Gary

Austan said...

It's a shame that when people feel consistently denied, ignored, discarded, disrespected, they react in violence. And when you're poor, what's first hit is what you can take and run- money and things in shops. I've never done it, but I understand. Everyone is a victim in this.
I have hope for peace, too. I just don't think it will come until there's justice.
Hang in there, Gary.

klahanie said...

For sure and based on what's been happening to my son and the way he has been disrespected and ill treated by the system in this country, I sometimes have this urge to riot.
Instead, I posted about my anger and outrage in my latest posting.
Laura, I'm hanging in there and may we both realise a peaceful, more compassionate world.

Austan said...

May we be kind and gentle to every living thing and protect all who are weaker than ourselves.

May we think pure and beautiful thoughts, say pure and beautiful words, and do pure and beautiful deeds.

With compassion and faith that we'll all do better,

Rory Grant said...

Laura - I was in London for the first round of Tottenham riots in the 80's. They ended with the death of a Police Officer - and of course it was tragic for all concerned. However I 'know' - you just have to trust me on this one - I 'know' that the authorities (Cops) were already encamped in Tottenham, in hiding. They hid out in schools and other public places which were closed, ready to go to war with the locals and this was all three days before a single stone had been thrown by a protester. I don't trust the media reporting of events thus far. I believe these riots have nothing to do with the shooting the previous day. Something more akin to a rebellion or uprising is under way. Granted it's in small pockets. Tottenham is a desperately underprivileged and marginalised area - the other locations you mention are less so. I suspect a 'movement' is at work but just who I don't know. People really need to disassociate the shooting from the rioting. It may be that the shooting was the 'last straw' but folks know one cop came away from that shooting with a bullet in his radio and so to all intents and purposes it indicates the suspect was armed and fired (unless a Cop was hit by a bullet from one of his own). People are not so stupid that they would riot when there appears to be justification for Police action like this - something more is behind this which is not being reported by the media. I wonder if the Cops were in hiding again and stirred this up for political reasons? I wouldn't think so as tactics have changed since the 80's - but like you are acutely aware - nothing is ever really what it seems at first glance.

These are seriously disturbing times. More so when you factor in the protests in Israel and the march of the 'indignants' in Spain.

Rory Grant said...

I was thinking earlier and forgot to mention - when people have nothing then they have everything to fight for.


Austan said...

Rory- Jesus! I read about the Tottenham riots in the 80s. Yeah, it's bad again. The bullet found in the copcar radio was from the cop's gun. There's nobody left to trust. Nobody. Things have to change and get better damn skippity. We're all too close to the edge. And we're getting played. What London does often catches on. Who knows where the hell this is going? Who would want it?

Christ, I don't think I'll ever see any justice or peace in my lifetime.

And I'm always surprised that they never say it's Anarchists when it's in a black neighborhood. Any time white kids are involved, it's "Anarchists".

Rory Grant said...

Yeah just picking up on the reports now that it was a Cop bullet in the radio. That turns things on its head. Maybe the community knew more than the media at the time?

But this is precisely how the 80's riots started - badly enacted Police activity which was hugely unjust - then riots which they were ready and waiting for - it's almost as though they are baiting the community.

Austan said...

We're all getting played. This is how all riots start. Remember the Seattle "Anarchists" in black with military-issue boots that started the violence...

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

It's good to know there are other people in the world who are as addicted to following the news as I am. Even if we must read it ... or listen to it ... with a huge grain of salt, it's unfathomable to me why so many people don't give a diddle about what's going on beyond their own back yard.

Riots are horrifying. I was working in a hospital in downtown Baltimore when Martin Luther King was assassinated. To look out the hospital windows and see smoke curling into the sky from the fires set by rioters was astounding, but the worst experience was when a crowd of blacks surrounded the car when I was on my way home. I went to school with black people, worked with black people, and had black friends, so I'd never had a single problem getting along with any black person before in my entire life. But when that crowd surrounded the car, rocking it, and staring in the windows at me, I was terrified. Terrified of the pure hatred on their faces. That's one experience I will never forget.

Austan said...

My friend Paul can't log in so asked me to post his comment:

Laura, I didn't even know this was happening till I read your blog this morning
Funny too because I just respond to mr.mike on Ruthie's thread.
He posted the following sentence fragment:
"People living in fear on the brink of chaos."
I referred to the latter part of that as "delusional".
Maybe he was more right than I?

Austan said...

Susan- The news is damn addictive, especially these days.

I can't even imagine how terrifying that must have been. I've never been in a car during a riot, and not being trapped like that-

I do hope you're blogging about it.