Riots and looting started in London on Saturday following the shooting of Mark Duggan who was riding in the back of a taxi. He was shot dead by C019 officers, the London Met's specialist armed police unit. Disturbances followed a peaceful protest that took place in Tottenham earlier in the day.
It’s the disturbances in London that lead to copycat incidents taking place throughout the UK. Firstly in other areas of London but then in Birmingham, then Liverpool, Bristol, Nottingham, Leicester, Wolverhampton, Gloucester and violence in Manchester and other parts of the UK over 5 nights of mayhem that have led to deaths of 3 Asian men in Winson Green, Birmingham, police getting buss at and the homes, businesses and lives of hundreds of people destroyed.
Tottenham on Saturday
Hundreds of people turned out to protest against the lack of information being given by the Police about the killing of Mark Duggan by one of their officers. People were made to wait for hours outside Tottenham police station for a response by the police. This lead to heighted tension and people claim to have been treated heavy handily by the police. A young girl was beaten by a police officer in the protests (A video of this was added to YouTube, but is no longer available), which is said to have ignited the riots and looting.
Reports were in the media that Mark Duggan was shot dead after he had shot at a police officer, but this is something that his family and friends claims he would have never done. Mark had been updating social networking sites in the lead up to being shot dead. One status update read “being followed by the feds”. If only he could have known that those same feds were going to be the ones to take his life, killing the father of 3 child and shooting dead a man due to be married next year.
Initial reports claimed that Mark Duggan was shot after he had shot at police officers. A police radio was found to have a bullet in, so this seems to have supported the initial reports. But the local community was adamant that this was not the case. Local eye witnesses claimed that no shots were fired at the police. The family and wider community were asking for answers as to why he was shot, but the response, lack of answers, the respect and support shown to the community was poor from the police. People took to the streets in protest, but thing turned soar after a young girl is said to have been beaten by the police.
Following the assault of the young girl groups of young people took to the streets looting stores, smashing windows, burning and smashing cars, set buildings on fire and brought the whole of North London to a standstill as police tried to contain the rioting. Local residents feared for their lives as buildings blazed throughout the night. Many people had to be rescued from flats above burning shops and have been left homeless by the incidents.
People were not rioting and looting in support of Mark Duggan, they were not robbing and looting in the name of the other people that have died in police custody. They wasn’t even looting in the name of all the people that are oppressed and ‘bullied’ by police up and down the UK . . . .They were robbing, looting and causing drama for personal gain, whether it was finically OR just for the joke of it!
What’s happen has happen, that cannot be reverted – but the bigger issue is the one of why people from our communities are dying, either at the hands of the police or the mindless idiots that are running bout the street. Young people are fed up of the constant oppression, no prospect of jobs, and the expense and pressure on their families for them to pursue an education. They see elder people that have come from the same situation, and even when they get a job they – People are faced with a glass ceiling that prevents them from reaching their potential or career goals. People have stood by and watched numerous marches, TV debates, discussions and community leaders speak – And nothing has happened! The future still looks very glum. Rioting, looting, burning cars, destroying people’s homes are not the answer . . . . But what is? What are the alternatives?
Young people do not fear the police. There are more young people on the streets then there are police, and the police are only human the same way that they are. These young people have gats, knives and so not give a f**k! Trying to police and control someone who really doesn’t care and sees no future is a lot harder than if you are dealing with someone who has something to lose. These young people are no longer prepared to let themselves slide into the terrible prospects ahead of them.
The looting and rioting is terrible, it’s having an impact on the UK nationally, regional and in their own communities where the people causing the trouble live. Communities are being split - Asians are uprising against Blacks. English Defence League and National Front white people are uprising against Asians and Blacks. Blacks against police. Police trying to control them all. Local vigilante groups are forming to fight, yet who do not understand the dynamics of the streets and are putting themselves in danger. Vigilante groups with race agendas claiming to be the voice of their community. The whole shituation is falling out of control.
There are underlying issues as to why the young people feel the way they do. Good solid interventions and positive role models are needed. Opportunities need to created and policing needs to be fairer . . . But I wonder if that will ever happen?