The focus of international attention has been on the markets and the wobbles in the financial system after America’s credit downgrade. But there’s another big story going on – the London riots. Last night (our time) The Guardian was reporting:
London riots spread south of Thames
Violence, vandalism and looting spread beyond Tottenham and Enfield to reach Brixton, leaving 35 police injured
There has been a second night of rioting across London, with violence erupting in several of the capital’s boroughs, from Brixton in the south to Enfield and Islington in the north and Walthamstow to the east.
What police are calling “copycat criminal activity” – some of it apparently part of an orchestrated plan – has so far resulted in 100 arrests.
Sunday night’s rioting followed disturbances on Saturday night in Tottenham, which came after the fatal shooting by police of Mark Duggan, 29, on Thursday.
The Duggan shooting has all the hallmarks of another fatal police stuff up:
Doubts emerge over Duggan shooting as London burns
Initial ballistics tests suggest bullet lodged in officer’s radio during incident in Tottenham was police issue
Doubts have emerged over whether Mark Duggan, whose death at the hands of police sparked the weekend’s Tottenham riots, was killed during an exchange of fire.
The Guardian understands that initial ballistics tests on a bullet, found lodged in a police radio worn by an officer during Thursday’s incident, suggested it was police issue – and therefore had not been fired by Duggan. …
Initial reports from the IPCC were that during an apparent exchange of fire police officers from C019 fired two shots and Duggan died at the scene. The suggestion was that officers could have come under fire from a minicab carrying Duggan. Much of this assumption came from the fact that a bullet had lodged in a police radio worn by an officer at the scene – raising speculation he might have been fired at from the vehicle. A non-police issue handgun was also recovered at the scene where Duggan was shot dead in Ferry Road.
The latest developments come as one community organiser suggested the handgun recovered was found in a sock and therefore not ready for use. It is likely to fuel anger on the streets of Tottenham and elsewhere in London if it provides evidence that officers were not under attack at the time they opened fire on Duggan.
England has always been prone to riots, born of the frustrations of the permanent underclass and the bleak housing estates. Of these current events a Guardian editorial noted “There is every indication, as unemployment climbs and cuts are made, that the sense of alienation will burgeon”. As austerity measures cut in all over Europe such riots will almost certainly become more common and more widespread. The chickens of the public bail out of the financial sector coming home to roost. Don’t worry though – the market will fix it.
Update: And this morning it is still getting worse. Check out the front page of The Guardian.