Opinion: The London Riots

Imrati Anand looks back at the riots that have plagued London in the last few days.

Something as simple as a peaceful protest to gain justice for an innocent whose life was taken away by a mistake at the hands of a police officer transformed into mass destruction across the country. The violence initially began in Tottenham when a group of youngsters burnt down the biggest building in the area: Allied Carpets. The building had thirty flats above it which were also burnt down and the lack of urgency created and action taken by the police during this event encouraged the youth to create more disturbance. Hundreds of teenagers joined forces and rampaged across areas including Lewisham, Hackney, Ilford, East Ham, Birmingham and Liverpool and set buildings on fire and looted shops. Large, well-known companies such as JD Sport and Currys had all their goods stolen before their eyes and their businesses completely destroyed within minutes by armed teenagers.

As this behaviour was repeated across the countr.y it appeared to be more like the world’s largest robbery rather than a riot. Local residents are complaining about the police needing to toughen up as there is so much damage, homeless people and companies that have lost a great deal and the authorities cannot even control what is going on. What reassurance of our safety can we be given when a modern country like Great Britain is unable to prevent a large sum of teenagers causing destruction? The continuous police sirens, helicopters and smoke fill the air creating a war-zone atmosphere but it’s the British people themselves who are behaving in such a savage, unthinkable manner and destroying their own community. During the main events of this madness, the UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron was peacefully sunbathing and sipping cocktails on a beach in Italy which aggravated the UK residents and allowed things to get out of hand. On his arrival into the country, he arranged for an additional 1000 police officers, the use of rubber bullets and gathered volunteers to clear up the mess. Will this be enough to put a stop to it all?

After 525 arrests and 100 charges it is clear that the majority of these criminals are too young to even be in prison though they will still face severe consequences. Parents argue that the youth are commencing such acts due to the EMA cuts and rise in University tuition fees although surely these youngsters are not educated enough to get into university if they believe rioting is the only way to voice their opinions. Not only are they downgrading teenagers as a whole and causing everyone to form stereotypes about the current generation, but they have also demolished the UK’s reputation. What sort of Olympic City is London going to be with most of it destructed by local hooligans?

The convicts crossed the limits when they attacked sacred places of worship including East London Mosque and Gurdwara Singh Sabha Barking, however the Sikh community have shown a strong sense of unity and togetherness as they guarded other temples overnight and chased away the rioters. Reports show that the rioter’s planning took place through Blackberry Messenger broadcasts therefore Blackberry has teamed up with MET police to trace these messages. Other forms of social media such as Facebook and Twitter may be shut down for a period of time or may have limited use to prevent further plotting announcements. Now, the thought that is in every feared British citizen is what else will the night bring?

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