Tuesday, August 9, 2011
The London riots
We're working from home this afternoon. We sat down to have some lunch, and flicked the telly on to Sky News. And the coverage of the growing problems in London is mind-boggling.
It's not restricted to London now either. Riots have broken out in Birmingham where the city's Police Station is reported to be on fire, and in Liverpool where cars have been set alight.
What started in Tottenham on Saturday as a protest against the police killing of Mark Duggan, a 29 year old father of four has become anarchy on a far wider scale. Much of the damage is being caused by large groups of young people, communicating with one another via social media. Looting and damage has been widespread. We've just seen two local residents of one affected suburb interviewed, and they said that whilst some of the offenders were wearing hoods or balaclavas, many were not, and did not seem to care if they were able to be identified.
The escalation of this level of random violence and destruction is deeply troubling, as is the seeming inability of the police to do anything about it. It seems unlikely that there will be an early end to this rioting.
In the meantime, The Guardian has extensive coverage, including this page where the latest reports of rioting and looting are being added as they come to hand.
UPDATE: And even as we have been typing this, the chaos escalates; Sky News is showing live footage of a fire which they have not yet been able to identify the location of where an entire city block seems to be alight [just identified as Waltham Abbey in North London]. What can you say?