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More Riots Break Out in London: Were These Planned?

More Riots Break Out in London: Were These Planned?

 

A second set of riots broke out in north and south London on Sunday night, leaving officials even more concerned about the possibility for mounting violence.  According to the Guardian, police were deployed to the Enfield and Brixton neighborhoods of London to deal with large groups of teenage boys, who seemed to have preplanned an attack against the police.  In Enfield, about six miles north of last night’s riots, the boys had torn bricks from walls to throw at police.  In Brixton, stores were targeted by looters.

There were reports of disturbances in other neighborhoods, leading to questions about whether the latest riots were planned and coordinated.  The potential for future conflict is clear, especially since some commenters reacted by blaming the rioters as “lunatics,” engaging in a “chilling orgy of random destruction.”

This characterization does not adequately portray the anxiety and anger felt by London’s young urban poor, who have been particularly affected by Britain’s new austerity measures.  These cuts to social services, combined with the feeling among some minorities that they have been unfairly targeted by the police, begin to explain just how the riots began.  Officials claim that “certain elements” exploited the general climate of anger to encourage violent behavior.  But others added that rumors about a violent conflict between a police officer and a 16-year-old girl added fuel to the fire.

Although there are many conflicting reports about how a peaceful march turned into a massive and destructive riot on Saturday night, social media had a lot to do with it.  Hundreds of people tweeted pictures of burning police cars, inciting others onto the streets.  One user said: “‘Everyone up and roll to Tottenham f*** the 50 [police]. I hope one dead tonight.”

Since social media played such a crucial role in Egypt’s revolution, it’s not surprising to see it happening again in another city.  As we saw with Egypt, social media can catalyze movements among disaffected people that can be extremely powerful.  Sunday night’s events clearly demonstrated that British officials have reason to be nervous about the potential for more organized conflict among the most marginalized of London’s citizens.

For more Care2 coverage on the London riots, click here.

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Photo from Christophe Maxin via Wikimedia Commons.

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94 comments

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8:44PM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

How could anyone not expect this? Let them eat cake policies only gets you so far. They are outsourcing and off-shoring jobs in Europe too. It is only a matter of time before we have such fun here. All the industrialized nations are telling their people and voters to accept the job losses and they are not worth protecting like the businesses are, because the businesses are job creators (in China). They will all slip into third world status.

8:38PM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

Cutting spending on, so called, entitlements is ineffective for addressing the deficit. Cutting programs that support the low and middle class will further strain both who don’t even receive lower prices as a result of the U.S. job losses and create a disconnect that will end in another financial collapse. The justification for attacking government benefits as opposed to raising taxes is the creation of jobs. But where?

Corporations have over-powered our government which now believes that out-sourcing and off-shoring of U.S. jobs is inevitable and necessary with expectations that the middle class should fall on their swords. It is the underlying cause of the financial collapse and borders on national security with the loss of our middle class tax base. Yet, this nation does nothing, not even demand it be restricted by whatever method. International businesses are doing the UN-AMERICAN activity of destroying U.S. salaries, U.S. businesses that hire in the U.S., and as an end result, destroying the U.S. marketplace while still demanding BUSINESS ENTITLEMENTS and protections for themselves.

Infrastructure spending and tax breaks will not replace enough jobs to keep up with the hemorrhaging loss of U.S. jobs from out-sourcing over seas. Neither party will do anything about it unless we begin grass roots efforts to protest out-sourcing and off-shoring of U.S. jobs. If nothing is done we will deserve what we get and it will get a lot worse before it gets better

10:21AM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

Do you see the parallels between England and America? How about declining job opportunities; devaluation of currency; decline of education and social programs; participation in endless wars against an undefined enemy; lack of respect for military personnel who have served in the Banksters' wars? It's always about economics and profits you know? How about the decline in morals and ethics; the destruction of the family values and religion - [I don't miss the last one of course]? How about the dumbing down of people as a whole through the various media? The latest immoral peccadillo or tryst of some vacuous show personality is more important than the planet. I apologize. I digress.
Everywhere you look these engineered events all over the world are occurring. We saw these same type of things happening in Seattle; Pittsburgh; the G20 in Toronto and now England. The agent provocateurs get the sheople all stirred up. People from all walks of life are being charged in England. They start vandalizing property while the cops are told to stand down by the politicians and do nothing until it suits their purpose. That purpose is to get society to the point where it will accept a police state. There is talk in England now of putting the police under military commanders; shutting down the internet to some degree and increasing Homeland Security type measures. Big shmile there Camerobut.

6:10AM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

Lack of disipline at home & school. Too much immigration. Police have little power. Our laws are too soft. The list is endless. I grew up in poverty but didn't go out looting, causing damage and injuring people.
The government should take a long hard look at what our wonderful country has become.

2:13AM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

I love England, such a nice country, I love all British comedians. and this is sad. And yes I think it was planned to inflict horror and pain unto others. Nobody thought about it, the attackers did this in a time nobody expect it. Be Cautious.

2:12AM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

I'm amazed at the conspiracy theories on here.

12:29AM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

Ameer T, Your comment is disrespectful and an insult to my country I would be most grateful if you would kindly forward an APOLOGY to ALL BRITS on the care2, too relate Brits as the same as the TALIBANS when infact the BRITS along with US are FIGHTING the TALIBAN is the HIGHEST FORM OF A DISRESPECTFUL INSULT THAT ANYONE CAN MAKE for what you KNOW about BRITAIN you could WRITE on the BACK of a STAMP

9:22PM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

Ameer

I was just about to send you a star for your comment which included "Governments want to increase security over the people and to exercise more control. riots may provide them with the perfect excuse." As this is an insight which most people don't see.

But then I read your next comment "whatever happened to the western boast that they were more civilized than any other nation on earth. Animals all of them and no better than the talibans......"

How dare you make comments like that about a country you have probably never been to, you are from India and I know that many Indians do not agree with you, because most of them live HERE and seem to be quite happy about it!

As for calling us ALL 'animals', I prefer animals to people so I do not class it as an insult, but you meant it in a derogatory manor which is just rude!

Now who is uncivilised!!!!

As for your comparison to the Taliban... you are comparing idiotic youths with strategic murderous operations, I hope you feel silly.

9:21PM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

Okay, one point of correction: the employment situation of the rioters is variable. Some do in fact have jobs. Just needed to factor in the dole queue to account for others. But all in all, their actions betray their characters.

9:07PM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

First of all, let's dispense with the dogshit propaganda that these rioters are "the most marginalized of London’s citizens" acting out. The fact is the majority of these looters and arsonists are not poor, not unemployed, and getting in on the action because they think they can inflict lots of damage and get away with it. They're townies on vacation from their usual routines. Like Vancouver had last June. And even if they're actually destitute, they merit no pity at all.

So the uses of Facebook, Twitter et al to organize destruction sprees shows social media need not have a genuinely moral cause at all. That's a troubling abuse of technology that deserves -- and has had -- better uses and users.

Thankfully Facebook and Blackberry are assisting police and London's streetcam network find the perps: the vermin deserve to be punished severely. Britain should also lift its firearms moratorium and permit shop owners to use lethal force in protecting their businesses. If Tweeter says, "I hope one dead tonight," how about a dead vandal? What riot would survive the immediate deaths of its worst aggressors?

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