About 400 to 500 protesters demonstrated against the police by looting, destroying patrol cars, spray painting buildings, smashing shop windows and burning double-decker buses from dusk till dawn in North London.
Tottenham residents rebelled against the police for gunning down and slaying Mark Duggan, 29 last Thursday night during an apparent gunfight.
Photo from The Guardian.
Local resident Eugene Austin, 90, said, “It was over the place. It has everyone upset. It’s not over yet. I hope they don’t kill me.” The neighbourhood has a reputation for problems in the past but for the most part it is usually a comfortable environment. However when things began to kick off, extreme violence and criminality escalated throughout the streets.
The former London Mayor Ken Livingstone said: “While the first priority is to restore peace, to ensure the safety of everyone now and in the future it is also necessary to have a serious discussion about why this has happened. I am concerned that there is growing social dislocation in London and a threat that the police will be forced into escalating conflict with some London communities. We do not want to go back to the 1980s.”
There haven’t been demonstrations this severe since the Brixton Riots 1981 in South London. Moving up to North London, the people demanded justice from the Metropolitan Police for their behaviour. It’s interesting how each newspaper reports the horrific event from different viewpoints. The Telegraph, a moderate conservative broadsheet spoke about the police as though they were the most important people involved. Although the incident is clearly about a man and his grieving family who suffered injustice. The community was shocked by the violent disorder. A similar incident occurred in Paris in 2007 when a boy was killed on his moped after colliding with a police car. It’s unfortunate that police brutality isn’t given the same attention as a public individual committing a criminal act.
These sorts of disturbances are often overlooked when the police are involved. Isn’t it obvious that the residents felt the confrontation necessary to send a message. The fact the police have not been protecting and serving but displaying their badges and taking advantage of situations to benefit themselves. The Independent said that houses were burnt, items stolen from stores, twenty-six officers were injured, forty-two people were arrested.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson and David Lammy Labour MP agreed that there was no regard for public safety during these “scenes of violence and destruction. ” At times, there are people who want a peaceful protest and have good intentions while others assemble and completely miss the purpose of the demonstration ruining the meaning of the act. The community was upset yet some fear their lives.
According to the BBC, a Downing Street spokesman called the rioting “utterly unacceptable”. Although there are disagreements towards the social destruction, the government should realize the catalyst for this acts including the economy and constant reforms by the Tory Party who portray an hypocritical stance towards such events by ordering police support yet they have laid off a quarter of the staff.
The London Fire Brigade received 264 emergency 999 calls from 9.30pm on Saturday night up until 4:30am this morning. Several fire-fighters stepped up to the plate to secure the area by putting out fires. Apparently, the fire-fighters were allegedly threatened while trying to save lives by protesters.
The demonstration debris is still being cleaned up after riots went violent over the tragic death from their disloyal police support and will probably spread to other areas of London.