Last night, after I came home through the riots and police cordons, I posted this post. Here’s some comments:
AB: interesting. not sure i totally agree… but interesting none-the-less.
Me: That’s cool, more people need to argue with this stuff to keep it interesting.
AB: Thats pretty much what I was going to say. Questions need to be asked. Why did the shooting happen? Why is the atmosphere so volatile? Why are these people feel they are so disenfranchised? etc. And these questions need to be asked of police and politicians. The situation may have degenerated into nothing more than thuggery but is not the real force behind the violence. I dont think its every citizens perogative to question authority, but rather i think its every citizens responsibility. Things like the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, Operation Kratos, the current finacial situation and the English polices checkered history in dealing with protests all play a part in this and, ultimately, it is the responsibility of police and politicians to maintain a peaceful society. I am not in anyway defending violence or rioting or crime and dont have to live through the turmoil.
Me: Cheers for at least bringing up the other side. Kinda wish you’d done it on the actual blog page though, since this is just gonna disappear into the waste of faded FB updates, but anyway.
The police force as a whole is no angel. It’s messed things up. De Menezes and stuff like that has happened, and I can get anger at the people behind it. But, I as horrible as it is, I do appreciate that they’re in a difficult position. If that guy had have been a bomber, blew himself and the Tube up, and it came out that the police had been watching him all along and just let it happen, they would have been just as crucified for it. I’m not condoning it, people need to take responsibility, but still as a whole I think the police force does a damn good job, helps far more than recognised, and deserves more respect than it does tend to get.
But all of that is moot anyway, since tonight’s stuff isn’t even about that. It’s about people just wanting free stuff. What may have started as a legitimate protest has just descended into opportunistic carnage. The live TV feed is showing non-stop footage of random buildings getting looted, private flats are getting attacked. For no reason at all other than people get off on being part of a mob. There’s no place for reading deeper societal issues into this. Opposing political ppl are cropping up, saying its because theres high unemployment and people can’t get jobs. I can’t get a job. I’m poor as hell. But there’s no way I’d go out and torch my neighbour’s house because of it. There’s no connection here tonight to a higher good. And because it is the police’s role to maintain order, the rioters are causing as much mayhem as possible, just to make the cops look bad, to the extent of destroying their own communities. It’s inexcusable.
AB: I dont mean to come across as disrespectful to police and I dont think they have an easy job. But they need to be questioned as they are in a position of power. I’m trying not to pass judgement either way.
My point is more that once this mess is under control the most important thing is to understand why it happened and with that knowledge prevent it happening in the future. This is more important than apportioning blame and to simply blame thugs is burying ones head and serves no purpose. But again I stress this point of view is, no doubt, much easier to maintain from a distance.
Me: Yeah I agree that they need to be questioned when things go wrong. And it’ll be interesting to see what comes of this Duggan thing.
But my main point is that what’s going on now has nothing to do with that anyway. Simply blaming thugs serves no real purpose, but at this point there’s just no other way around it. That’s all it is. The only way to stop it happening in the future is getting tougher on it as far as I can see.
I love the debate, more people comment here please!
And now I’ve woken up on Tuesday morning to see it’s still all continuing. Over 450 arrests have been made, and the jail cells of London are full. They’re having to take people out of town now, which is of course just reducing the manpower on the streets even more.
As predicted, people are starting to question the police. Why aren’t they doing more? It’s out of control, isn’t it their job to stop this? Which is tricky. Due to the pretense this is all happening under, the police’s hands are tied by political correctness. If what purports to have started due to police attacking a black man, is then retaliated against by police attacking black men, then that will just fuel the righteous indignation which the mob is running on and make it worse. I’ve now seen countless clips of groups of riot police arriving at a scene to stop looters robbing some poor man’s store, only to have the looters turn around and attack the police. The outnumbered police then can do nothing but back down, since if they try to use any real force they will be the ones who end up getting in trouble for police brutality.
As I said before, this no longer has anything to do with the death of Mark Duggan. This is just thieves out to get what they want at a time when police are spread thin. This happened so fast, and in so may places, that the police couldn’t possibly be in force at every location in and outside of London. Extra police have been deployed, and people must now be running at over 24 hours stressful service without a break to try and contain this, and still the public is on the TV saying, “but in my area, I saw the looters just running down the street, setting fire to cars, and there wasn’t a cop in sight. What are they doing?”
They’re doing all they can do. But the police-hating culture has tied their hands. The only way we can fix this is to allow the police to use force. The police have the power, but at the moment they can’t use it. They need to be able to turn up, and if they see a crowd getting stuck into some local business, they need to be able to just get stuck in, beat the looters and lock them up. Without fear of the backlash of police brutality. The people out there now deserve to be brutalised. The only reason they are continuing with this is that they know full well they will get away with it. And it is for no just cause, just for their own selfish thrill.
There was a black man by the name of Douglas Howe on TV last night, who was asked his opinion on what was happening. He said he wasn’t surprised. He said that he has a black 15 year old son, who is an angel, but has been stopped and checked by police quite often. And so, he has known for a while that this will happen. Now, whether his story is true or not, I don’t know. After hearing Howe’s rants on the TV, I have my doubts about how much of an angel his son is, but regardless, action against suspected police harassment should be aimed at police, not local communities.
Howe was back on TV this morning. I thought even he would surely take back his words after what’s gone down last night, but he amazingly stuck to his guns. While the reporters tried to ask him questions about the violence and carnage people were causing to their own neighbours, he just ranted about how of course it was justified, because his son has been stopped in the street for no reason. The reporter then put the question to him that he had also been involved in riots in his time as well, hadn’t he? To which Howe became extremely indignant, saying he had never been in riots, just “demonstrations which had become violent”. When the reporter tried to cut back in, Howe just started spewing the familiar lines along the lines of, “How dare you insult a poor black man like that, how dare you. Have some respect. My son is stopped by the police because he is black. How dare you suggest that I’ve done anything wrong. I’m black so everything I do is justified”. At which point, the live feed to him was cut.
People like him are the problem. A society might have a problem, and there might have been a legitimate issue somewhere behind all of this. But when it gets out of hand, and starts damaging the very foundations it purports to uphold, people need to call it what it is, and stop supporting it on the blind belief that everything the police does is bad, and anything the underdog does is good. Luckily, there is a backlash happening, and we have many other black people on the TV condemning their communities for what they’re doing. But as long as there are people like Howe out there giving them the support they need, it won’t stop. Let the police do their job, and stop the madness. Who are the innocents – those out there looting and burning everything they can find? Or those having their homes and livelihoods destroyed for no reason at all? Which group should we be protecting?
Check out this video for one woman who’s got it right:
(Next rant here)