[personal profile] matgb
Overnight, the events in north London have, simply, been horrifying to watch. As news unfolded on Twitter I began switching from BBC to Sky and back again trying to see if anyone, at all, knew what was going on. News reports are concentrating, naturally, on the riots themselves and the shooting that's supposedly sparked them.

Earlier in the week, a fairly well known resident in his late 20s was shot by police, reportedly responding to shots fired at them. However...

From what I can gather from Twitter and other sources, there was a planned, peaceful, protest outside the police station about the shooting. Then this happened:

These are, naturally, unconfirmed reports. ETA: both are based on seeing ‪this BBC News witness broadcast but appear to have been corroborated. ETA2: ‪16 YEAROLD OLD GIRL ATTACKED BY TOTTENHAM RIOT POLICE!‬‏ - YouTube You can make out the police beating someone on the ground, it's very grainy, but...

But if true? The initial spark for violence wasn't a man being shot. It was a 16 year old girl being beaten by the police in front of a crowd of demonstrators. Is it true? I have no idea.

I, broadly, agree with Steve:
In the UK,
a) having a gun and
b) firing it at CO19 (armed police)
are both very bad ideas. So is
c) sitting next to a person firing a gun at CO19, which is the other possibility.


We won't know the details for a while yet. There's an IPCC investigation... but the last few of those might have just as well had the word "whitewash" stamped on them in red ink.


I hope we find the truth about Tottenham's grievances and the police actions, but I'm not going to cheer on looters and bus-burners in the meantime. Not all action is heroic.
That's three choice extracts, I recommend reading the whole post.

If those tweets are for real? If the police genuinely did beat an unarmed, non-violent 16 year old girl who was shouting at them in front of a non-violent protest? That's horrifyingly wrong.

Reports of fires and looting in Wood Green as well as Tottenham are unconfirmed but sources are credible. A Home Office minister is the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, she also happens to be one of the Lib Dem MPs I respect immensely.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. The Metropolitan police is giving every indication of being completely out of control, not just for their close links to News of the World journalists.

Lynne? Not just for the sake of your constituents, but for the country, make sure the Met are sorted out and the investigation is full, thorough and open?

I hope those with friends, family, etc in the area are OK. I'm going to bed, insomnia can only keep me awake for so long.

ETA: Guardian NewsBlog has two different witness statements saying that a girl was attacked by police, one of which says she threw something at them first. But
the girl was then "pounded by 15 riot shields". He said that the police "launched into her with startling force using both batons and shields. She went down on the floor but once she managed to get up she was hit again before being half-dragged away by her friend."
One teenage girl throws something, she'sbeaten to the ground by 15 riot shields? FFS. Heavy handed tactics never work in a tinderbox, what are the Met on?

(I've applied some formatting to the two copied tweets to attempt to make them look good, that CSS only exists currently on the Dreamwidth version of this post so might look awful on friends pages, reading pages or in feedreaders, do let me know if it messes things up particularly badly.)
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)

Date: 2011-08-07 05:58 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] davegodfrey
Typical. Riots on my doorstep and this is the first I hear of it. Truly this is the future.
davegodfrey: Marvin: ...and me with a terrible pain in all the diodes down my left hand side... (Marvin)

Date: 2011-08-07 06:26 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] davegodfrey
About a mile or so as the crow flies. David Lammy is my local MP, but I'm right on the edge of his constituency. If I lived the other side of the road I think I'd be under Lynne Featherstone.
rhythmaning: (Default)

Date: 2011-08-07 07:25 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] rhythmaning
My door step too - I'm a two minute walk from Wood Green station...

No evidence of rioting here, although I was woken by the sound of several helicopters overhead - just as a reporter on 5live was saying there were no helicopters out. (Tottenham is about two miles away.)

I can't imagine rioting in this part of Wood Green, really - it is very residential (by which I mean middle aged and middle class, I guess).
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)

Date: 2011-08-07 09:55 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] davegodfrey
Bloody hell. Didn't know it had spread to Wood Green. That really is close to me.
rhythmaning: (Default)

Date: 2011-08-07 10:12 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] rhythmaning
Hano (sorry, I can't remember how to post user names in DW!) posted this link to a YouTube video.

The choice of shops to loot seems like opportunistic consumerism rather than political revolt to me...
rhythmaning: (Default)

Date: 2011-08-07 06:13 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] rhythmaning
Indeed! Thanks for that - I'll have to keep that...
rhythmaning: (Armed Forces)

Date: 2011-08-07 07:52 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] rhythmaning
I've had a look on Twitter - #woodgreen, @neilsonandrew and @paullewis, mostly - and it sounds like the rioting here was confined to looting in the High Street: it seems to be mostly taking advantage of the situation than fighting against any specific wrongs.

Date: 2011-08-07 08:57 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] hano
yeah, right now it sounds like the looters were opportunists rather than anything else. Sounds like the Big Green Bookshop is ok, just seen Tweets confirming that. It's f**king scary though, the Wood Green looting went on for hours and there wasn't a policeman to be seen till dawn.
rhythmaning: (Armed Forces)

Date: 2011-08-07 09:34 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] rhythmaning
To be honest, letting the looters get on with it might be the best way to deal with looting. I doubt sending heavy handed police in would help resolve anything.

Looting, though, could really damage the neighbourhood economy: those shops are employers. I can understand people's anger at the police, local politicians and government. But attacking local businesses is a pretty stupid way of expressing it.

Date: 2011-08-07 09:37 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] hano
I agree, wrecking the place is less than helpful. But this is what happens when people feel they have nothing to lose coupled with a burning sense of entitlement.
Anyone seen or heard anything from Lynne Featherstone?
rhythmaning: (Default)

Date: 2011-08-07 09:43 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] rhythmaning
I was about to search Twitter to find out. But even MPs are allowed a holiday! David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, has issued a statement.
rhythmaning: (Default)

Date: 2011-08-07 09:45 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] rhythmaning
Nothing from Lynne on Twitter since 22/7.
rhythmaning: (Default)

Date: 2011-08-07 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] rhythmaning
That makes sense. I don't agree with knee jerk reactions anyhow. The causes of riots in Tottenham may be different from those in Wood Green, and jumping to conclusions will help no one.

Date: 2011-08-07 08:54 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] hano
(cross commenting from LJ)
This is two miles east of where I live. What *isn't* being reported right now, is that the rioting spread west to Wood Green where the shopping centre and the high st have been systematically looted. I'll post when I know more.
daweaver:   (pdq)

Date: 2011-08-07 09:38 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] daweaver
From someone who actually live there:

23.52 Riots in our hood... Buses, cars, shops on fire

01.06 Just got home, laid on the floor of a bus, we were the only people on there, past the riots

01.14 My estate is desolate as they are all probs at the riots. They are starting to move peeps this way now though

01.38 NO! Don't push the crowds further North... Our estate is there!

02.33 Right, with helicopters as a lullaby, we'll try to sleep. Fuck you Tottenham

09.13 Cannot get out of our estate in Tottenham... Place is under lockdown...

I've been dropping an ear on LBC's Andrew Pearce, who has spent the first half-hour since 10am talking to the police. As though they're some sort of impartial witness. As though they're some sort of witness at all. Only now is he talking to someone who actually lives there.

Tottenham riots

Date: 2011-08-07 05:03 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] hollhand1981
I was there last night after i watched spurs game got caught up in it all and watched first hand the police batter that young girl . I was also then attacked by the police for no reason i was keeping myself against the wall to stay out of it all but police are mindless thugs too.

Re: Tottenham riots

Date: 2011-08-07 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] hollhand1981
Yes that is it mate i was standing about five feet away to the right trying to keep out of way of police and rioters and police attacked me as me and my friend tried t walk past and the wonder why they have so much trouble . i hae some videos and pics i will try and upload later

Date: 2011-08-07 05:07 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

It is true, a young lass did get set on by a dozen or so police officers.

Absolutely disgraceful, I'm surprised there wasn't even more damage. Since when did policemen deciede justice is served with a beating.

Justice should be civilised.
ginasketch: (Default)

Date: 2011-08-07 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ginasketch
I felt sick watching that. Geeze.

Date: 2011-08-07 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fabulousblueporcupine.wordpress.com
I wonder if this is two separate incidents? On the one hand people are suggesting a 16 year old approached police at the peaceful protest stage of the evening and was batoned, and that's what started the violence. But this YouTube clearly shows it's dark, which would put it 9ish at the earliest by which time things were well underway. And other stories (and the video) involve a 16 year old being beaten with riot shields, so that's clearly *after* the violence started. The riot police only turned up some time after the fires were started.

Date: 2011-08-07 06:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bart-calendar.livejournal.com
What's interesting is the lack of news coverage. the american press has nothing at all about it and even the BBC website just has a small story at the bottom of their home page.

Date: 2011-08-07 09:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyrell.livejournal.com
Guardian's got a live rolling blog on it, but nothing new.

If the 16-year-old girl story is true, then I change my mind about 90% of my post immediately :)

Date: 2011-08-07 08:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hano.livejournal.com
This is two miles east of where I live. What *isn't* being reported right now, is that the rioting spread west to Wood Green where the shopping centre and the high st have been systematically looted. I'll post when I know more.

Date: 2011-08-07 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] absinthecity.livejournal.com
More details over at Harringay Online where a few residents have posted pics/video footage. The looting in Wood Green has been pretty extensive.

Date: 2011-08-08 08:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] absinthecity.livejournal.com
Yeah, I heard reports of entire families out with shopping trolleys. Horrible business.

It's actually been blissfully quiet here in South Tottenham. I'd say even more so than usual! Probably because we don't have any shops...

Tottenham Riots

Date: 2011-08-07 12:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pingback-bot.livejournal.com
User [livejournal.com profile] communicator referenced to your post from Tottenham Riots (http://communicator.livejournal.com/828041.html) saying: [...] has an interesting post [...]
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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