I'm sure you've probably all heard the craziness that started in London and that has now spread to other cities in the UK.
It all started when the police shot father of four Mark Duggan in Tottenham, North London while carrying out an arrest. The short version of events is that while the police were trying to arrest Mark a police officer was shot at. Believing the shot was fired by Mark, he was shot dead only to later find out that the bullet was fired by another officer and that Mark had been killed for nothing. Many black people have been reportedly killed by police officers whether while in custody or during an arrest and although there has been previous riots, very few of these officers were ever brought to justice.
With that background info it seems understandable that the community in Tottenham and other areas of London felt the need to protest in order to change the state of affairs HOWEVER what started off as making a point and sparking a change turned into a complete disgrace and disregard for others.
The protest in Tottenham that started off as a peaceful one, turned into a looting frenzy and ended up as straight up vandalism. Maybe because those in that area got away with taking merchandise from the local stores or just because it was seen as an excuse to carry out anti-social behaviour, whatever the reason, the youths in other areas of London started rioting and looting in their neighbourhoods.
To be honest, at first I wasn't too bothered since it was chain stores such as T-Mobile and Footlocker being affected and it seemed like an opportunistic and harmless attempt at committing mass burglaries but THEN these youths started setting things on fire, attacking innocent bystanders and damaging civilian property! As a result of all this craziness many stores have opted to stay closed to protect their products and their staff.
I wasn't taking it very seriously, it seemed kind of surreal watching it on my TV screen, but while driving through areas in London and seeing first hand the damage that had been done I was furious! What sense does it make to damage your own neighbourhoods and attack properties of innocent people? I actually saw people breaking into stores and I was quite shocked at how animalistic and savage these people were.
The more shocking part for me was also that many of these people were actually children! I'm talking kids under 13 being allowed to roam the streets unsupervised and therefore given the opportunity to partake in the rioting. I wrote a previous post on giving your children far too much freedom and privacy and this is a prime example of the point I was trying to make! There is no excuse for your child thinking it's ok to act like a criminal even if the consequences may not necessarily affect them (it's very unlikely that many people will be convicted because of the large number of people involved). Also, what kind of parent must you be for your child to think it's ok to bring stolen goods to your home?
The other thing that I have to highlight is the inefficiency of the London Metropolitan Police. Their role is to protect the city yet from what I've seen on TV and witnessed first hand they are too scared to act and therefore are not effectively stopping the madness but rather waiting till the people involved are tired enough to go home. Cowardly much?
This begs the question, why send British soldiers to help bring order to another country and win a war if you can't maintain order in your own and are losing a war where your opponent is fighting with plastic bottles from a garbage bin?
What also annoys me is the fact that everything is being blamed on poverty driven people. Don't get me wrong, none of these people can afford to live lavishly but they are looting in £100 trainers, organizing it on £300 phones and driving away in 2008 model cars! I'd say the drive was greed rather than poverty if you ask me!
As a city the damage is going to take a long time to be repaired, many people are going to be out of work, a VAT increase should be expected, tax payers that were busy working while fools were getting free merchandise are going to end up paying for the damage, people are going to get criminal records for silly reasons (I hear girls are looting weave from the hair shop!), those who are convicted will be used as an example and therefore receive heavy sentences and window companies are going to benefit the most since they will have their hands tied repairing store windows!
On a personal level, it took me nearly 7 miles to find a petrol station brave enough to stay open, all my local supermarkets have been shut down, police sirens can be heard constantly and socializing outside my home seems practically impossible since everything is closed and many routes have been blocked.
In all this madness some people have completely thrown caution to the wind and started stealing without hiding their identity. This particularly foolish young lady started looting in Curry's while still wearing her Curry's uniform! Stupid much?
Others started thinking of their families and were sure to bring home some rice for their mothers and Pampers for their kids!
Some fools used their Blackberry to organize a looting session which obviously was later traced by the police. There are reasons why they keep you in school till you're at least 16...
It's sad that what started off as a good cause ended up as national vandalism and that people have been made homeless as a result of these mindless arson attacks. All we can do now is hope it stops and that the police have learned that if the justice system will not hold them accountable, the public will.
Not Rude, Honest.
First Published: Aug 11, 2011