The Thinking 

The Riots in London

August 7, 2011



MANY remarkable photos and videos of the aftermath of the riots in London can be found here. Residents of Tottenham began lighting cars on fire, tossing Molotov cocktails and looting stores after a policeman killed a black man who shot at them. This is the hero (below) for whom the black rioters were seeking justice. He is described simply by the New York Times as a “father of four.”

Police were seen running away from the rioters. The Daily Mail describes the aftermath:

One police officer, asked by an elderly resident why more had not been done to stop the rioters, replied: ‘The way we look at it, we’re damned if we do, we’re damned if don’t.’

Police vans were parked in the middle of the road and the blue lights of two stationary fire engines continued to flash in the bright morning sunshine.

Rubbish swirled around the empty street, which had last night witnessed dramatic battle scenes.

Local residents wandered through the wrecked retail park in disbelief, some taking photos of the devastation. The front window of Currys electrical store was smashed and smithereens of glass covered the ground outside.

Next door, Argos’s door had been smashed in and broken glass covered the floor inside and out after looters apparently raided the stock room.

A futile alarm rang out but was all but drowned out by the whirring of helicopters circling overhead. Rubbish bins had been tipped over and their contents strewn across the car park.

Discarded flat screen television boxes and other unwanted packaging covered paved areas outside the electronic goods stores.

The looters had evidently removed the products from their boxes to create more space in their shopping trolleys and cars, which were said to number up to 100.

Fragments of glass from the smashed in door of PC World littered the ground.

The scene outside Comet was similar and outside B&Q – one of the few stores that did not appear to have been looted – staff stood uncertainly, waiting to hear from head office whether they would be working today. With police tape cordoning off most of the neighbouring shops, the prospect seemed unlikely.

A member of staff at The Carphone Warehouse next door said every phone in the shop had been stolen.

The contents of the stock room were spilled across the pavement outside from the smashed in door. Inside, it had been pulled apart. A solitary mobile phone rang out from beneath a pane of glass on the ground.

Outside JD sport shop, broken mannequins lay on the ground, plastic legs and torsos scattered here and there. Plastic coat hangers and discarded packaging also lay among the debris.

The sense of anger at what the looters had done was clear. Nadine Knight, 24, who works in administration at a planning and architecture firm said: ‘I’m completely and utterly disgusted by what the community has managed to do here.

‘They need to come together a bit more and help the community, not damage it. I’m so upset, I can’t believe it.’

Another resident, Norman McKenzie, 37, who works as a security guard at the Next clothes store in the retail park, was also appalled.

He said: ‘I can understand they’re angry and above all that there’s unemployment and cutting benefits so everything comes together and the cup is full.’

He had been told by his employer not to go to work today ‘because of the riot’.

Christian Macani, 22, who works in environmental sciences, asked a question that was on the lips of many in his neighbourhood this morning. ‘What does this achieve?’ he said. ‘They can’t get away with this, can they?


Share:Email this to someoneShare on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest0Share on Google+0