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✎ EN London Riots

Discussion in 'London' started by texkourgan, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. texkourgan

    texkourgan Moderator
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    The world looks on as media outlets report that London is burning. Rioting and looting that took place over the weekend have continued and spread out from the poorer sections of London to as far away as Birmingham, Liverpool, & Bristol.

    The event appears to have started after the shooting of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old father of four, who was fatally shot last Thursday night in North London’s Tottenham Hale section. It appears Duggan was a passenger in a minicab that was stopped as part of an initiative to recover illegal guns in the area. Details remain vague, but it appears an illegal firearm was found at the scene and shots rang out, though The Guardian asserts that ballistic reports now show that all of the gunfire came from police. A peaceful protest was planned for Friday evening with the family wanting to meet with police officials to get answers, but the protester's pleas were unanswered. It was at this point that frustrations boiled over and the protests turned violent. This is the worst outbreak of social unrest in Britain in 25 years since the Broadwater Farm riots.

    The rioting continues, but questions about the cause and effects have already sprung up. Among the causes are the intense cutbacks in social programs, cutbacks and demoralization of the police force, and severe economic strain - all in the face of the looming $15 billion extravaganza of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

    From the safety of Germany I watch the happenings on the news and see the frantic and frustrated Twitter messages of expats abroad and in London. It is hard to know what exactly is going on. The BBC News provided an articleabout the coverage the event is receiving from around the world.

    "El Pais, Spain
    The economic crisis cannot become the sole explanation for the violent outbreaks that are multiplying in Europe."

    "Isna students news agency (in English), Iran
    Iran called for London police to exercise self-restraint in dealing with protesters in Tottenham, north of London. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast referred to Saturday night's massive protests in Tottenham, which came following [the killing] of a young black man by Scotland Yard police and called for the UK government to avoid any police's harsh treatment with protesters."

    "Liberation, France
    These causes strangely resemble those of the riots of 2005 in France or of 2008 in Athens when a teenager was killed by police in the rebellious district of Exarchia."

    EasyExpat in London reports:
    "Sad to say but in a way - although not an excuse - there are explanations: people see for the last 3 years that traders (those who drive big cars, earn fat bonuses) and banks are collapsing; then the state is rescuing... and then later the poor are asked to pay with reduced services, less allowance, more unemployment, prices and VAT rises. Looting is not the solution (more opportunism) but the fact is that you have definitely anger around."

    What are your impressions, thoughts and feelings about the London Riots?

    What possible solutions can you think of?

    What direction should the UK be moving for the future?


    Feel free to share what you are thinking in this forum.
     
  2. EasyExpat

    EasyExpat Administrator
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    What struck me most is that there is mainly no violence for the sake of violence (well at least when you compare to France in 2005). In the area where I am there were not burning cars or destroying private properties (although in other parts of London you had some fire and obviously the TV were focusing on that as it looks more impressive :evil: ). First target was Debenhams, where a lot of girls found clothes and hand bags. Guys were more interested by looting Curry (plasma screens and electronic) and mobile phone shops. The big food shops (Asda) was mainly untouched and was busy as normal today with shoppers. Actually in the main streets they did not loot the stationary shop (pen and papers), M&S, Waitrose, Waterstones (books) and the Jamie Oliver shop were untouched.

    Good organisation as they all wore hoodies and some of them masks (which make a joke of the MET or the home Secretary saying "let's assure that those who were looting will be found and punished").

    And last but not least you will notice that the Mayor of London leaves as soon as someone suggest that maybe the Tory government and the economic downturn is also to blame: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14464139
     
  3. patalair

    patalair Member

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    That's the point. What we see here is the pure aestheticization of violence of financial capitalism.
     
  4. david allen

    david allen New Member

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    Maggie Thatcher destroyed British industry and what was left of working class identity, shops became "retail outlets" ; the stock exchange and the traders became the hear & soul of the greater part of the UK economy, this was accompanied by the selling off of major public industries, Thatcher, Major and Tony B Liar who provided more of the same .... With the subprimes - the biggest robbery in world history - it was time to turn the screws on the poor one more time. Students, asked to pay some 10, 000 pound a year in tuition fees protested.
    Can we blame them ? Really ? The riots were caused by the assasination of a taxi driver accused of perhaps being "linked" to a "gang". Shoot first, think and don't ask questions later.
    An old story oft' told by the boys in blue. Hackney went up in smoke, some stole wine & televisions others attacked a police station.
    Maggie has done the deed, the Majors & Blairs simply threw roses on the coffin of what was left of a ragged social bond. The riots point the way to conflict and future strife. When I think of it I am ashamed of " The Sun" the " News of the world" and of mu UK citizenship.

    D F Allen Ph. D (paris) MdC Rennes II
     
  5. EasyExpat

    EasyExpat Administrator
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    At least News of the World is no longer there. RIP :D
     
  6. Doug1943

    Doug1943 New Member

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    The "father of four" who was shot was a gangster. For the first day or two of the riots, the police were afraid to take action -- Political Correctness paralyzed them.

    Three out of four arrested rioters had a previous criminal conviction.

    Britain is a much "softer" society today than it was in the 1930s. It's a welfare state: if you don't want to work, you can claim "benefit". We have hundreds of thousands on "disability benefit" and for many of them, their "disability" is a disinclination to work.

    If this were not true -- if there were really serious unemployment in the UK == we would not have tens of thousands of non-British people coming in to find jobs.

    In the 1930s, the unemployed turned to genuine protest -- the Jarrow Hunger March. They supported political parties which had as their goal the re-organization of society.

    The rioters have nothing in common with the unemployed of the thirties. They were and are scum, human garbage the inevitable outcome of a welfare state that rewards indolence.
     
  7. EasyExpat

    EasyExpat Administrator
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    Doug1943> This is your opinion. I dare to disagree completely and entirely.

    The father of four was not a gangster. There is currently an investigation on the event and you cannot make any judgement before the result.

    The current measures of benefits cut taken by the government are the strongest since the 1920s.

    Of course, the current rioters have nothing to do with events 80 years ago. However some explanation are coming out in serious newspapers:
    - the increasing inequality of the British society
    - cuts in benefits and closure of community centres
    - the loneliness of a summer holiday in a population hit by high level of unemployment

    There is and never will be any justification for calling people scum and garbage. This is actually the language used by so called journalists in the worst British tabloids such as the Sun and the Daily Mail, mixing extremism and fascism, and that put all the country at shame!
     
  8. Doug1943

    Doug1943 New Member

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    Believe me, my language about the rioters is pure sweetness and light compared to the language used by people whose businesses were destroyed by these animals, or whose children were killed by them.
     
  9. EasyExpat

    EasyExpat Administrator
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    As often you prove again here that animals can be better than humans.
     
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