By now you’ve probably heard of the drama unfolding in the cities of England.
For those of you who’ve missed it:
On Thursday, a 29-year-old man named Mark Duggan was shot to death by police officers as he sat in his taxi during a planned arrest.
Family and friends quizzed the police over details about why the father of four was killed but received no information. On Saturday in an attempt for more information and to bring justice to their loved one, a peaceful protest was organised outside Tottenham police station in north London.
Before anyone knew what was happening, some members of the protest began rioting, petrol bombs were thrown, buildings, shops, and vehicles were set alight and all hell broke loose.
Since then not a day has gone by without rioting occurring. Shops are being looted, vehicles and shops have been set on fire, people’s homes have been burned to the ground.
Not only that but the London rioters have sparked a chain reaction in a number of cities around the UK also falling victim to wild rioters and looting.
People are scared to leave their houses. Families have lost their homes and businesses.
Last night the police were nowhere to be seen.
Since Saturday it had been reported in the media that Duggan had been killed because he tried to shoot at police.
Today it was revealed that Duggan had not shot at police after all.
Britain hasn’t seen rioting like this since the Thatcher days. And what’s worse is that the news reports are confirming that the offenders are youngsters, kids from the ages of 12 and 13.
One looter fell over after running out of a shop. A few people crowded around him to see if he was okay and, rather than help him up, they held him down further and robbed him instead. They’re even attacking each other.
People are acting like animals and, of course, this has all become so much more than about Duggan’s death.
A real question of class and government are being posed. “Britain’s underclass” are lashing out against “an indifferent political class that has turned its back on them,” one newspaper reported. Once again the Tory government seems to have let down the non-/working class nation that they’ve continuously turned their back on throughout history and now’s the time to fight back.
Or maybe Duggan’s death was the straw that broke the camel’s back and a nation of youths decided they just didn’t care anymore. If they couldn’t trust the politicians or the police, those people who are here to protect us, it’s every man for himself.
But no real agenda or motive has been given by the rioters themselves. No-one has really come forward to talk to the press about why this is happening. Right now it’s all speculation: the lefties vs the right-wings. Everyone thinks they have the right answer to what they’re seeing on their television screens and that any other opinion is null and void. But the fact of the matter is that right now it all seems so mindless. Why are people looting from baby clothes’ shops and dumping the goods on the other side of town? What exactly is that a stand against?
Whatever real reason does lay behind it all, there’s wrong on both sides and I can’t side with anyone.
The police should have given Duggan’s family information when they wanted it. They knew a protest was being organised and should have learned from the past that these things never remain completely peaceful. They shouldn’t have shot at a man who – from what we can gather for now – posed no threat to them. People need to wake up to the fact that some of our police officers are just as corrupt as those we read about in America, Mexico or wherever. They’re just better at hiding it.
There’s no excuse for what the rioters are doing. I couldn’t give a shit about the looting from big companies and cooperation like Curry’s, JD Sports, PC World … They’re all part of the capitalist world that can make their money back in a heartbeat. It’s the families whose homes and small run independent businesses that have been burned to the ground that I care about. What have these people done to deserve this? They live in a flat above a shop you torched and suddenly them and their 9-month-old baby are huddled together homeless.
I think my Twitter friend Carew put it best:
It’s a noble thing to protest a broken government, but let me remind you that these fuckers robbed a bleeding child to steal a cookie. … The rioters are not ALL the impoverished victims of capitalism, and they are not all scabby, chav thugs. … How about people realise that this issue is more complex than all the partisan bastards want us to believe.
It’ll be interesting to see if any change does come about as a result of this. God knows, this country needs it. Then again, the Prime Minister speaks of nothing but “restoring order” which suggest he really has no fucking idea what the bigger picture in all of this is and the fact that his government isn’t working.