This song has been mentioned a few times earlier on in the devloping riots here in the UK. Personally I’ve not been directly affected as I don’t live near the affected areas but like many people I do have friends and family in and near the affected areas. So what’s it all about? As much as I can tell from what has been on the news, which I’ve been fairly glued to, is that on Thursday the Police stopped Mark Duggan. He seems to have had a gun, an item which is illegal in this country, which had a bullet loaded in it. Now I wasn’t there, to be honest I didn’t hear about the incident until after the riots had started, but it seems that the Police shot him with reason. He had an illegal item that is a dangerous weapon and it posed a threat. I’m also open to the fact that more might come to light and that as I’m just a random person on the internet it’s not my place to judge anything. What then followed was a perfectly legitimate protest in Tottenham, irrispective of the guilt or innocence of Duggan, as they were entitled.
Then somehow, and I’ve not picked this up on the news, it all went to shit and violence broke out. I picked up on this a few hours after it had hapened, I must confess I do have my own little bubble some days, and was a little bit shocked to say the least. But as well as the shock I’ve found myself getting annoyed and angry at what appears to many as the blatant mindless criminal thuggery and if I’m honest I personally don’t see any reason that will ever justify, or excuse, burning peoples homes and destroying livelihoods. If anyone wants sympathy from me thats not the way to go about it.
I’m also not foolish enough to think that it’s just a black and white thing behind any rioting, infact the last time London had any significant rioting was in the 80’s and it was the race riots. With the mid 80’s stuff being some of the worst, here’s a link to a wiki list of race riots in the uk. Now these riots have been compared on the news, and it’s been pointed out that the rights then and the riots now are not the same. Even if there was some spark that might have a justification for the wanton destruction of your community, it is not the smart way to do it. In fact there is no sympathy in any of the communities being hit for the actions of these rioters.
The actions of the rioters are only going to hurt the communities affected and the rest of us, why? Because prices are likely to go up. There’s also the health of the economy, whatever growth or stability we might have had could well be put in jeopardy with the repair bill when everything is tallied up. But why am I just bleeting on about this when I can use the words of other people. Lets take the example of a woman that is giving the rioters a good piece of her mind.
The morning after the first riot the MP for Tottenham summed up the mood for his constituents in an interview after walking around the local area. Again he sounded his displeasure and the displeasure of the community.
Over Sunday and Monday nights I watched in a mixtures of disbelief, anger and outrage as the violence not only spread in London but then other cities. And like a good number of people I was amazed at how overwhelmed the Police were and how much of a difficult time they were having trying to contain it. And if I’m honest I was wondering why the Army hadn’t been called in to try and support the Police. However as I’ve been watching the news today and this evening it does look like the Police have got things ramped up an extra few notches, especially with their numbers in London, and that they are being much more co-ordinated and effective in dealing with things. The fact that the rioting has spread to other cities and that the rioters are so set on looting high value items that makes these riots different, its the focus on the looting. That and being able to show the Police they can’t be stopped, this is the claim of 2 girls that were on the BBC today.
But in a sense this is all old news, and it’s not really what inspired me today to write this blog entry. I don’t want to glorify the actions of the rioters as being worthy of note. I would like to think that someday they’ll realise how out of order they’ve been over these last few days, that’s probably the case for the majority but there’ll be those that will never feel remorse. What I wanted to write about was the way that the communities have responded to this, things like the lady I mentioned above. The people that we really want to draw attention to are the #riotwombles, I’ll forgive them the name issue for the simple fact that they have been absolutely awesome! Via twitter a cleaning effort was arranged and co-ordinated for London, it started in the early hours of Tuesday morning, and I know from having been watching my Twitter that they’ll be at it again tomorrow. If you want to find out how you can help I suggest you get hold of this person on twitter: @RiotCleanUp and as I’ve been link hunting for that I’ve seen sister groups for Manchester and Wolverhampton.
In addition there’s also been the Anti Riot: Operation Cup of Tea event on FaceBook, which again has it’s own hashtag on twitter: #OperationCupofTea. There have also been lots of entertaining things flying about on twitter, here’s a few that’s tickled my fancy.
(No, it seems two of them are gone now 🙁 )
This is not to mention the brilliant efforts of all the Police Officers and Fire Fighters in the effected areas, they’ve undoubtedly been great and have been working their socks off.
I’m now getting to the point of wrapping up as I don’t think there’s much more I can say without decending into waffle, especially as I’ve had two very late nights in a row watching the news! I will say that on behalf of the whole of SkepticTV that we hope that everyone in or around the effected areas is safe. Our sympathies go out to all that may have lost their homes and livelihoods in these riots.
There is one final word I would like to have in all this, it’s that the usual sections of the community seem to be having a field day with this. Who do I mean? Well cretins like Nick Griffin, if you are feeling brave you could check out his twitter feed, it’s full of the usual tripe you’d expect from him.