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.)
Spent the last weekend at the spring Liberal Democrat conference just up the road in Harrogate. It's one of those events that holds a soft spot for me—my first one was 2 years ago, just 2 weeks after I'd met [livejournal.com profile] theyorkshergob, so I spent both evenings with her in Leeds—we both think we'd have ended up together regardless, but the ability to meet up in Yorkshire really did speed things up. Anyway, it was a damn good weekend.
Met Howard Dean )
Official Voting Member—the POWER )
Faith Schools—they're WRONG, damnit! )
If, like me, you want to see the end of faith schools, take heart from this policy, it's a damn fine step in the right direction, and much better than what any party had before. If you think they're a good idea? I refer you to the words of the Accord chair, Rabbi Jonathan Romain:
I want my children to go to a school when they can sit next to a Christian, play football in the break with a Muslim, do homework with a Hindu and walk back with an atheist - interacting with them and them getting to know what a Jewish child is like. Schools should build bridges, not erect barriers
Amen to that.

G'night all. Gotta take the Shrub to school in the morning, and Jennie's getting an 8am train back.
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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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

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