This is interesting, first the “Arab Summer”, now the “London Riots”. The situation has been contained for now, but one has to wonder, what Western country is next?
After riots shook Tottenham last night, questions are being asked about the police behaviour and the root cause of the violence.
The riots began after residents staged a protest outside the police station on Tottenham High Road to protest at the shooting of Mark Duggan, who was killed by police on Thursday.
As community leaders condemned the outburst, which saw 26 police officers injured, three police cars and a double-decker bus burnt out and over 40 arrests, a youth leader who was at the scene said there were questions to answer about why the violence was not contained.
Symeon Brown, co-founder of grassroots youth movement Haringey Young People Empowered said tension between young people and the police had existed for generations.
Brown said the peaceful protest soon escalated: “The murder of Mark Duggan led to a peaceful protest, it escalated into violence and where the police should have contained the area they didn’t contain it. They created a line to contain the station but they didn’t contain the riots.”
But rank-and-file police officers have defended themselves. Paul McKeever, chair of Police Federation predicted last year that in times of economic uncertainty that there would be more disturbances, and was criticised by the Home Secretary Theresa May for his comments at the time. This morning he told HuffPost UK:
“Our thoughts are with the officers that have been injured. It seems as though we’re in a position in the police service today where we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.
“We’re criticised this morning for being too light-touch initially with the demonstration that was taking place in Tottenham, and yet I’m sure if we’d been less sensitive at the beginning, we’d have been criticised for that if things had gone wrong similarly.”
- Tottenham riot: ‘very volatile’ situation contained, for now – The Guardian (news.google.com)
- Riots condemned as Tottenham counts cost (independent.co.uk)
- Tottenham riots – live reaction (guardian.co.uk)
- 26 cops hurt, dozens held after London riot (msnbc.msn.com)
- London riot cleanup underway (cbc.ca)
- Tottenham riot: ‘very volatile’ situation contained, for now | Analysis (guardian.co.uk)