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At first glance I thought this picture was of a battle in Lybya, Yemen, or Syria.  But, it turns out to be of a riot in Tottenham, England, where protests of a controversial policy shooting have escalated into violence.

Huffington Post, UK, reports, Riot In Tottenham After Protest At Mark Duggan's Killing By Police

PRESS ASSOCIATION -- Eight police officers are being treated in hospital following riots which broke out two days after a man was shot dead by police.

Scotland Yard said at least one of the officers had suffered head injuries after protesters clashed with police in Tottenham, north London.

Trouble flared after members of the community took to the streets to demand "justice", after Mark Duggan, 29, was shot dead by police on Thursday.

The riots saw buildings and vehicles set alight, including two patrol cars, a police van and a double-decker bus, and shops looted as police in riot gear arrived on the scene.

Hundreds of people gathered in the street, including mounted police, as smoke poured into the air from the lighted bus. Fire engines descended on the area and thunderflashes were thrown at police on horseback.

Pictures of cars and shops burning, and mayham in the streets, remind us of the breakdown in law and order in New York City, decades ago, when riots broke out at night after a power blackout

How frightening to watch how thin the veneer of civilization might be, covering our more primitive potentially savage natures, waiting for any discontinuity to erupt into destructive rages of violence.

A local woman, who declined to give her name, said: "There's a theory going on that the man who was shot had dropped his gun, but they still shot him. I'm hearing that most of the shops in the High Road are being burgled and robbed."

It is not clear if this report of 9 people taken to the hospital includes the 8 police officers.

While I am not sufficiently aware of the details of this case to make comments on the original shooting, no matter how the count comes out, we also see here remarkable discipline, training, and restraint from the local police with regard to their handling of the riot.

Few are the places where, if 8 police were hospitalized, and petrol bombs thrown on them, the police would not have retaliated with fierce reprisals.

What a poignant paradox of civility.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 04:12:36 AM PDT

  •  you seem to be willfully omitting an important (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fly, farlefty, bronte17, Mindmover

    part of the story. Maybe your privilege self can't understand social tension that have accumulated overtime which would lead to frustration to boil over in to rage.

    This seems to be a subclass of British society which feels that it's been victimized by the state (Police & justice system) people resort to violence when there is no other recourse.

    There is a reason why bankers don't riot.

    John Blake, who grew up with Mr Duggan on the Broadwater estate, claimed the dead man had been victimised by police in recent weeks.
    He said: ‘I know the police were harassing him. The police were following him. If you’re from Broadwater Farm, police are on you every day, you’re not allowed to come off the estate. If you come off the estate they follow you.’

    A family friend of Mr Duggan, who gave her name only as Nikki, 53, said the man’s friends and relatives had organised the protest because ‘something has to be done’ and the marchers wanted ‘justice for the family’.

    Read more:

    violence can never be excused but without context it can't be understood either. In the social contract peace is exchanged for justice. NO JUSTICE > NO PEACE

    •  I recced your post but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I don't think your slur on the diarist was warranted.

      •  I did so because the diarist identified with their (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bronte17, Mindmover

        actions (talking about how thin the crust of civilization was) without showing an understanding for the cause of their action. That is privilege outlook....What the diarist is saying is that this was unexpected that it was out of clear blue sky, that the actions of the rioters has it's origin in our savage self, when this can actually be explained in terms of social justice. These people are not rioting because of ONE person was gunned down by the police but because ANYONE OF THEM can be.

        The diarist failed to give context to the story inviting a prejudice response, like the ones you can read in the comment section of the link (dailymail).

        •  Wrong. (0+ / 0-)

          The UK is a free country. This is not a protest, it is a riot. The people rioting are not protestors, they are rioters. That there might be police misconduct does not justify rampant violence.  

          And enough of the "privilege outlook" garbage. The Left suffered far too much in the US when people defended rioters back in the 1960s. Opposing riots is not a "privilege outlook" it is an outlook for the rule of law in a democratic society.

          •  that is when society is democratic (0+ / 0-)

            the majority of the developed world does not have democratic societies......

            Please do not tell me you are involved by being a member of DK4....really get involved.... The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

            by Mindmover on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 11:49:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The UK is democratic (0+ / 0-)

              they had a free and fair election last year.

              •  bought and paid for by (0+ / 0-)

                the likes of Murdoch....

                Please do not tell me you are involved by being a member of DK4....really get involved.... The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

                by Mindmover on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 12:00:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  How come Murdoch lost the previous (0+ / 0-)

                  three elections?

                  •  I said the likes of Murdoch, (0+ / 0-)

                    meaning the rich and powerful, mainly corporate types, with their jets and 14 homes all over the world.....private golf courses and champagne parties.....these are the type of people that have people telling them where in the world they would most enjoy traveling to in August....or the merry month of May....those types, which I am sure you are not one.....

                    Please do not tell me you are involved by being a member of DK4....really get involved.... The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

                    by Mindmover on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 08:25:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  I was actually thinking the opposite (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    farlefty, bronte17, tardis10, vacantlook

    of your astute observations about paradoxes of civility:

    that the phenomenon of police shootings of suspects is so common in the US that it doesn't provoke outrage and riots much at all anymore.  (If this were 40 or 50 years ago, I probably wouldn't be able to say this).

    in a way the riot says something about the expectations that community has for the acceptable behavior of police vis-a-vis violence and citizens that we in the US don't have.  We tolerate a great deal more violence from our police before we reach the "breaking into violence" point.

    does that say something about our civility vis-a-vis the British, our lack of concern for the victims of police shootings vis-a-vis the British, our tolerance for violence from authorities vis-a-vis the British?

    or is the context far too different to make these observations?

    the photos do kind of harken back to the days of "the troubles" in N Ireland though, and the kind of police responses one often saw in those contexts because of the escalation of violence on both sides.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 04:52:51 AM PDT

  •  Is there a racial element to the shooting and (0+ / 0-)

    subsequent riots?

    •  Operation Trident (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster, farlefty

      The police involved in the killings were from Operation Trident, a specialist unit dealing with gun and knife crime in the black community (most of which results in black on black violence).  This is a statement on that from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in a report on the original shooting .

      In a statement it said: "At around 6.15 officers from Trident, accompanied by officers from the Specialist Firearms Command (CO19), stopped a minicab in Ferry Lane, Tottenham to carry out an arrest.

      "Shots were fired and a 29-year-old man (Mark Duggan), who was a passenger in the cab, died at the scene.

      "The attempted arrest was part of a pre-planned operation under Trident.

      "It is believed that two shots were fired by a firearms officer, equipped with a Heckler and Koch MP5 carbine.

      "A non-police issue handgun was recovered at the scene. An officer's radio which appears to have a bullet lodged in it has also been recovered."

      The back story appears to be that a cousin of Duggan was killed in a knifing in March. It is unclear if either had any involvement in local rivalries or crime however a common excuse for knife and gun carrying is self protection. Some reports I have seen and heard claimed that Duggan was not deeply involved in a gang This appears to be one of the reasons for discontent at the shooting as these quotes suggest:

      Local resident Jay Crowned, 39, said he knew Mr Duggan. "He's not a troublemaker but he's been down since his friend was stabbed in Mile End.

      One problem appears to be that there is often a delay in the IPCC appointing an investigative team (any police used usually come from another force) and them starting their work. The peaceful demonstration by the family at the local station appeared to be demanding immediate answers.

      There are also reports that one woman started remonstrating with the police cordon and was pushed away by one. Again, this is unconfirmed but the incident appears to have been one excuse for the rioting starting. Other locals have claimed that the rioters came from outside the area. Certainly the riot and looting spread beyond the immediate area of the High Street.

      "Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism." Sir Gerald Kaufman, British MP and son of Holocaust survivor.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 05:40:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Brits throwing fire bombs ? (0+ / 0-)

    Welcome to L.A.

    Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

    by vets74 on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 07:13:21 AM PDT

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